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PHANTASMS 



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PHANTASMS 



ORIGINAL STORIES 



II.LCSI'i^ 



lPostl3uinou6 |pcr5onalit\2 ant) Cbaractci* 



vviKT gi:rrare 



PI PTM *» I r<: > 



rHICAL ROMANCr, 



"• I meddle not with those Bedlam phancies, ti\ whose conceits are antiques, 
but leave them for the Physician to purge wit' '■ 



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This, the sole etHtion of "Phantasms" which will be 
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^ 



CONTENTS 



FAGS 



Introduction— An Interview 






7 


The Dark Shadow . 








43 


Retrilution 


t 






68 


The Sleepless Man 








89 


Uncle Sel\v\'n 








142 


A Good Intention . 








153 


A New Force 








165 


Mysterious Maisie 








174 


The Face of Nature 








219 


The Actual Apparition 








226 



B 



ice2953 



0. 



INTRODUCTION 



Posthumous Perso7iality and Character 

HORACE VESEY left Corby during my first 
term in the lower school. I therefore knew 
little of him personally. True, his doings as a 
fifth-form boy were fresh in the memories of my 
schoolmates, and I remembered a few of them 
which had passed into the traditional lore of 
the school. When a young and hard-pressed 
journalist, I presumed on this acquaintance to 
interview Vesey on the subject of " Spiritualism." 
I hoped to get specially interesting information ; 
for no one in London was credited with so 
complete a knowledge of the mystic cults, which 
at that time were again attracting general attention. 
From the journalistic standpoint the interview 
was not a success — I remember that my "copy" 
was pigeon-holed and forgotten — but I benefited 
to the extent of gaining a friend and an intimate 



8 INTR OD UC TION. 

association with the most remarkable personality 
it has been my fortune to meet. 

" We were at Corby together, you say, Gerrare ; 
but you must have been learning genders at the 
time I was on Sallust. What do you remember of 
me?" 

" That you walked in your sleep, and threw the 
hammer fully ten feet further than Alec Grove." 

He laughed. "The first needs explanation, the 
second does not, I suppose." 

The former was the easier to believe. It seemed 
to me incomprehensible that the slight, slack, 
sinewless frame of the sleep-walker had been 
capable of achieving such success over the skilled 
and muscular Alec. " It is of spiritualism I wish 
to talk with you." 

"But the general public cannot understand 
spiritualism. It is as useless to attempt an 
explanation of spirit- life to materialists, as to 
expound the Differential Calculus to ignorant 
Papuans." 

" The interpreter only is wanting." 

" A right conception of the mystery of being is 
necessary to a comprehension of posthumous 
existence, and this conception is lacking." 



' ■ INTRODUCTION. 9 

" Is not that because scientists will not use the 
common language of the people ? " 

" No ; for learning is not wisdom. Our con- 
ception of a thigh-bone is not altered when we 
learn to call it a femur, nor have we advanced in 
knowledge when we term a lapse of memory 
ecmnesia. Much of the labour of eminent men 
is thrown away, because resulting only in the 
discovery of new names for well-known things, 
or is misspent in search of correct definitions for 
long-ascertained processes. Wisdom rather is 
possessed by those who have not lost their 
perception of facts, in attempting to represent the 
relation of them by S}'mbols." 

" I want facts." 

He smiled. A gleam as of humour flashed 
into his wondrous dreamy eyes ; but they almost 
immediately reassumed their habitual faraway 
look — a look which I have never seen in other 
^yzs, and which I can only describe as being a 
soft, intelligent gaze into the unknown. " I am 
not a fact-monger," he said quietly. "You must 
go to the schoolmen if. )-ou wish to hear someone 
who can talk glibly of telakousia, aponeurosis, 
dynamogeny, and other things which are under- 



lo INTRODUCTION. 

standable, capable even of being demonstrated, 
and adequately, if not accurately, described with 
the aid of special vocables culled from the choicer 
teratology of the textbooks. I am an idealist 
whose ideas have been proved by experience. I 
cannot convey my ideas to you, because they are 
known to me only as what they an\ not by 
symbols; and if I coined names, or made symbols, 
neither you nor anyone else would understand 
them, nor could I explain them — there is the 
difficulty." 

" It is not insurmountable." 

"Yes and no. I can suggest certain things to 
you, as I have to others. I can suggest that you 
believe them as being realities, as tJicy are ; but 
what does that amount to .' No more than that 
you have been hypnotised, and experienced what 
some term hallucinations ; others, less learned, 
delusions. If you perchance alight on the right 
path without direction, you are believed to have 
evolved the ideas out of your inner consciousness, 
told that your experiences arc self-suggested 
phantasms, not real discoveries of fact." 

"The general public dislikes anyone to be 
greatly ahead of it in knowledge." 






INTRODUCTION. n 

"The limit of human knowledge is not where 
public opinion places it, nor as it is determined by 
exponents of the physical sciences ; it rests solely 
with the individual. In the first place, you must 
distinguish between the knowledge of the in- 
dividual and the knowledge of the whole mass 
of individuals. For instance, I may not know 
what one John Jones in California and another in 
New South Wales know at this moment ; but 
there is a state some persons attain, in which it is 
possible to ascertain what any and every person 
living knows — that is comparatively easy. Beyond 
there is a state in which it is possible to ascertain 
more, but to translate it is impossible." 

" Because no one can comprehend the trans- 
lation .? " 

" Quite so. The individual cannot understand 
that of which he has no experience, as in the 
material world we know not the feel of iron or 
stone until we have touched something harder 
than a feather pillow ; so our unutilised senses 
need experience if we are to comprehend the 
non-material world, whilst even to perceive the 
facts of this, our ordinary senses are barely suffi- 
cient." 



1 2 INTR on UCTION. 

" Some people are supposed to possess a sixth 
sense." 

"There is really but one sense. Man's so- 
called five senses are but variations of the same 
mechanism suited to receive material impressions 
of different kinds, and communicate the result of 
each ijidcntation to the brain ; for all are operated 
in the same manner — by contact. You know the 
physiological processes ; for instance, the sense of 
touch, the most limited in range of the five senses, 
arises from the membrane that first receives the 
impression of the object in contact, setting up a 
certain vibration in the nerve which connects it 
with the brain. The impression reaches the brain 
as a sensation, the interpretation of which is 
dependent upon the memory of past experiences 
of like similar, or dissimilar, sensations produced 
by the same nerve, or one of the same order. 
The quality of touch varies in different parts of 
the body. If two needle points placed only one 
twenty-fifth part of an inch apart be applied to 
the tip of the tongue, they will be felt as iiuo 
points. If they are placed even four times the 
distance apart, and applied to the back, they will 
be felt as a single point only. Taste and smell 



r^ 



INTRODUCTION. 13 

are closely allied to touch, the sensations being 
excited by the impinging of extremely minute 
particles of matter upon appropriate nerves. 
Hearing is the sensation caused by certain vibra- 
tions of the atmospheric ether, in contact with 
the tympanum of the ear. Sight the result of 
certain movements of the optic nerve, caused by 
the impression of a picture upon the retina." 

"Just so; but I came to hear you talk of life 
after death, about elementary spirits, ghosts, 
goblins, and the like." 

" Including objective and subjective appari- 
tions ; therefore I point out to you particularly 
the acknowledged fact that we never see an object, 
only the reflection in miniature of one, as it is 
depicted upon a membrane ivithin the eye by the 
rays of light ; that is, by contact with waves of 
atmospheric ether in rapid motion, for light as 
you know is but a mode of movement. Red 
waves result from impulses at a speed of 392 
billions a second, and violet, at the other extremity 
of the solar spectrum, by impulses at a speed of 
757 billions a second. Vibrations above the violet 
and below the red do not excite luminous 
sensations." 



1 4 INTR on UCTION. 

"Then above the violet is spirit land ?" 

"The scientist says simply that there is chemical 
activity." 

"And below the red?" 

" Heat — until we descend to the very low figure 
of say 35,000 a second, when vibrations are per- 
ceived as sound." 

"What is the usual difference in the sensory 
capabilities of individuals .-'" 

" Too slight to affect the main issue. Some 
people cannot hear the squeal of a bat; and it may 
be presumed that should a bat squeal within the 
hearing of seven people, yet only one hear it, 
an examination of the witnesses would establish 
in an overwhelming fashion that the bat did not 
then squeal : thus if one sees a ghost, and a dozen 
people having equal opportunities ought to see it 
but do not, then there was no appearance of a 
ghost — the senses of the man who saw it must 
have deceived him, he is left doubting, too often is 
over-persuaded, and believes the contrary of the 
actual fact. Of course, all the senses may be 
deceived ; the sensation which ordinarily results 
from touching a steel point with the tip of the 
finger may arise from anything inside the body 



r^ 



INTRODUCTION. 15 

which will produce a like movement of the nerve 
connecting the finger tip with the brain. The 
stimulation of any sense nerve to action results in 
the delivery of a sensation to the conscious self; 
its interpretation, as a false message or as a 
genuine impression, will depend upon the past 
experience of the recipient. When one knows 
that one's optic nerve is unable to convey 
accurately different sensations for impressions of 
red and green, one learns to distrust that sen- 
sation ; in like manner when one hears strange 
noises, unheard by others, one distrusts one's 
hearing, and believes one's self to be the subject 
of hallucinations. On the other hand the value 
of each of the senses increases as memories of 
past experiences of its use accumulate." 

"Apparently the evidence of one sense is sup- 
ported, or is contradicted, by that of another ? " 

" Yes, but the accumulations of past experiences 
prove how close is the association of one sense 
with another ; upon hearing the word ' vinegar ' 
there comes a sensation as of sour taste ; this 
association of sensation with words helps the 
mesmeriser towards the mental realisation of the 
suggestion he makes. The transference of sensa- 



1 6 INTR OD UCTION. 

tion from person to person without the ordinary 
perceptible suggestion, has been done, accompHshed 
under test conditions. Apparently all perception 
must be by means of motion. What movement 
then is that, by which one person in one room 
is mentally directed by another person in another 
room at a distance to taste coffee, and the coffee 
so hot as to scald } " 

" Thought transference is done simply by an 
effort of will.?" 

"Then no doubt the effort puts into wave-motion 
particles of ethic substance which reach the other 
person and produce the sensation desired. Could 
we see that mode of motion we know to exist at 
higher velocities than 760 billion vibrations a 
second, or hear sound waves travelling at a higher 
pitch than 35,000 vibrations a second, possibly we 
might either sec or hear the process by which 
thought-transference is cfl'ected." 

" We shall not do that unless the sixth sense 
is developed ; yet we can neither see nor hear 
magnetic force and have nevertheless been able 
to make much use of it, and scientists think they 
fairly comprehend it now." 

"Just as we have been able to use electricity to 



INTRO D UCTION. 1 7 

enable us hear and see things our senses can 
perceive, so can thought-transference be utilised. 
Thought-transference also explains the kindred 
phenomena of clairvoyance; for clairvoyance is 
merely a change to the other end of the connecting- 
line. The percipient of a sensation, the one who 
receives a thought-message, knozvs that a similar 
sensation is experienced by the person who 
communicates. The person who wills conjures up 
a vision of a luminous cross, or actually beholds 
one ; the person who receives the thought-message 
or impression, knows that the sender is regarding 
a cross ; what one sees the other sees ; clairvoyance 
therefore is but a variety of thought-transference, 
or, more accurately, telepathy." 

"Such communications are surely limited," I 
ventured. 

" Limitations of this kind ; if the person who 
wishes to transmit the impression knows neither 
the taste nor the appearance of, say, olives, and 
determines to transmit the sensation of taste of 
them to a person who does know it, the nerves 
of the sense of taste would not be directly acted 
upon by the will of the transmitter, but the sense 
of hearing or of sight would be directed to the 



1 8 INTRO D UCTION. 

word 'olives,' and by a reflex action and the 
association of ideas, the taste of oHves would 
become apparent to the percipient. If neither 
the person who wills, that is the transmitter, nor 
the person who perceives, that is recipient, knows 
anything of olives, although a knowledge of the 
name-word may be conveyed, it will be as power- 
less to produce the flavour of olives as though the 
word ' Mcthuscla' had been communicated. If, 
however, the transmitter likes olives, and the 
percipient does not, the taste communicated, 
although recognised, will be agreeable to the 
percipient." 

" Then thought or sensation-transference proves 
that the external organs of sense do not need to 
be appealed to directly, in order to produce 
exactly similar sensations to those which follow 
an actual appeal to the senses in the ordinary 
way.?" 

"If such proof were needed. Of more im- 
portance is the fact that through thought- 
transference and clairvoyance many get a glimpse 
of a world of activities imperceptible to man's 
external organs of sense ; an indication of the 
manner in which it is the easiest for a being not 



• INTRODUCTION. 19 

possessing man's organs of speech or material 
body to communicate with him." 

" Then you acknowledge that apparitions, ghosts, 
are subjective, not objective ? That they are in 
fact illusions ? " 

" Consider the matter in a commonsense manner. 
Assume that a phantom of the dead wishes to 
appear to the living, in order to accomplish some 
set purpose, will not the phantom adopt the 
method easiest for it ? The simplest and most 
direct means arc usually the best, and if the 
phantom had to simultaneously attract the 
attention of a blind man and a deaf one it would 
be useless to 'appear' in winding-sheet and with 
clinking of chain ; it would be easier to appeal to 
the sense of touch." 

" Do you give ghosts credit for ability to touch ?" 

" Say rather ability to make themselves felt. 
The hypnotiscr can suggest to the subject that 
he is blistered, and a real actual blister, leaving 
a real, unmistakable scar, is produced wholly by 
the effect of the suggestion on the hypnotised 
subject. When, therefore, the ghost of Lord 
Tyrone appeared to Lady Beresford, and made 
an indelible scar upon her wrist, it is not necessary' 



ao INTRODUCTION. 

to suppose that it was really burned, or that the 
phantom had the power of touch." 

" But how about the impress burnt into the 
cabinet ?" 

" The evidence for that is not so good ; nor are 
we considering the power of phantoms to act 
upon inorganic matter. That they may do so is, 
I think, the logical inference from the proven fact 
that they act upon organic matter." 

" In order to do so phantoms must materialise, 
and their ability to do even this has, I believe, 
never been proved under test conditions." 

" It is amusing how some of those who laugh at 
every phase of spiritualism, express their willing- 
ness to be convinced if spirits will manifest under 
test conditions which tJicy will impose. They 
admit that they know nothing of spirits, nor of 
the laws by which they are governed, and so the 
test conditions are often extremely ridiculous. It 
is as though when one proposed to make ice- 
cream for the delectation of an African potentate, 
he refused to believe in the solidification of the 
confection unless it should remain frozen as solid 
after an exposure of an hour or two to a tropical 
sun. You propose to show a sceptic a spirit. He 



r^ 



INTR on UCTION. 2 1 

will not believe it to be a spirit until it shall have 
materialised. When materialised he will even 
declare that it, being matter, cannot be spirit, and 
will attribute its appearance and disappearance to 
trickery — probably complimenting you upon 
having so successfully deluded his perceptions. 
It is thankless work." 

" Does not much of the opposition to spiritualism 
arise from the trivial nature of spiritualistic 
phenomena .'' " 

" Arises rather from a misconception of the 
character of spirit life. The idea that human 
beings as soon as dead become as omniscient as 
angels are popularly supposed to be, is not based 
upon commonsense, and is fallacious. Man im- 
mediately after death is neither more nor less than 
the entity he was — minus the body and the power 
of communicating through it with the material 
world. He has precisely the same intelligence 
and character, the same knowledge, and he has to 
discern his universe from a fresh point of view. 
Whatever he may learn in this new environment 
he will never be able to communicate to men in 
the flesh, unless they are such facts or experiences 
as by learning or research he had some conception 

C 



83 INTRODUCTION. 

of when in the body. The talk of a spiritualist 
medium who is controlled, or fancies himself 
controlled, by a bricklayer is such as one expects 
from a man of the labouring class. It is in the 
fitness of things that such should be so. Whatever 
was beyond his knowledge as a bricklayer will be 
still unknown so far as informing a medium is 
concerned ; and this, not because new knowledge 
is unobtainable by a spirit, but because it is 
acquired by a method, the manner of expressing 
which was unknown to him prior to his post- 
humous existence." 

" There is then little hope of learning from 
spirits .-• " 

" So far as the ordinary manifestations go 
the teaching is that suited to the needs and 
capabilities of the learners. As far as my ex- 
perience goes, nothing very new, very startling, 
or radically different to preconceived and gener- 
ally accepted ideas, need ever be expected from 
them." 

" Matter passing through matter, for instance } " 

" Matter is always passing through matter in the 
same way as a fish through water, or the earth 
through a comet's tail. Solidity is only relative ; 



'^ 



INTR OD UCTION. 2 3 

the comet which occupies millions of cubic miles 
would, if its particles were as closely packed as 
those of gold, form a tiny lump small enough to 
place in the pocket of one's waistcoat. Even then 
some space would be left between the atoms 
composing it. The radiometer, as you know, 
reveals the fact that matter may be reduced to 
particles so small, that in comparison with the 
smallest of those observable with the most 
powerful microscope they are in size as a pistol- 
bullet to the earth. Solid matter passes through 
solid wire, as you may demonstrate with a water- 
battery by placing the one pole in a solution of 
various salts and the other in a separate vessel in 
a bit of moist sand ; the salt crj'stals will be found 
in the sand-heap, separately deposited, those of 
dissimilar character apart." 

" But that does not show how a book passes 
through a brick wall." 

" It illustrates the working of a force, and the 
force which controls lifeless matter is known to 
ph}'sical science solely by the result of its 
operation. F"or instance, it has never been 
explained why and how steel is attracted to the 
magnet. If instead of comprehending force as a 



24 INTR OD UCTION. 

property of matter, you ascertain the nature of 
the activities by which matter is conditioned, the 
passage of matter through matter in the sense 
you mean will no longer appear impossible, and 
you will be as little inclined as I am to witness 
irregular physical manifestations of force." 

"You regard them as pertaining to black 
magic ? 

" I simply do not desire them. I know that 
man does not end at the finger-tips, and is able 
to influence matter at a distance from his body. 
There is a radiation from each soul-cantre which 
receives sympathetic response from other centres — 
from the soul of things. The sun as an entity 
terminates many millions of miles from this earth ; 
the sun as a force reaches here and obtains that 
physical response known as heat and light — two 
forms of motion — of life." 

"But table-turning, rapping, and supposed 
communications with the spirits of the dead do 
not seem to impart much knowledge." 

" Simply the knowledge fitted to the under- 
standing and desires of the circle. If the search 
is for truth, so much truth as the seekers can 
comprehend; if the 'circle' is frivolous, then the 



INTRODUCTION. 25 

desired quantity of frivolity. The wholly curious 
are most often disappointed." 

"And the indifferent multitude truth does not 
attract ? " 

"Is not so large as you imagine; for the truth 
is known by many names. I receive communi- 
cations from all sorts and conditions of people. 
Some of these abuse spiritualism, yet give 
particular instances which are further evidence 
of its working. The chief effect these com- 
munications have is to convince me that truth 
must be taught by parable." 

" Because spiritualism is not to be scientifically 
demonstrated } " 

" The scientific spirit of the age is materialistic. 
When matter has been ascertained, if not before, 
the spirit underlying matter will be sought and 
found. Now, as always, there are many for whom 
the study of matter is insufficient, and them I 
serve. If you wish to know more of magic, come 
here whenever you choose, and in time, in lieu of 
talking elementary physics, we will speak of 
matters the multitude cannot understand." 

From that day my visits were frequent. Vesey 
had no inclination to symbolic mysticism ; his 



26 INTRODUCTION. 

room was an ordinary, comfortably- furnished 
apartment ; quiet, lofty, roomy, light, and as 
home-like as the cosy corner of the cultured 
bachelor can be made to be. It was if anything 
too modern ; too orderly ; too business-like ; his 
books, other than one in immediate use, were 
stored away in closed presses ; there was no 
statuary, few ornaments, and the pictures were 
bright, cheerful, and common-place; the most 
noticeable, and most used, piece of furniture was 
a large Persian divan, on which every day Vesey, 
reclining at ease, spent hours in dreaming those 
untranslatable visions, which were to him the 
very essence of being. " Be at ease, be comfort- 
able, and let no one disturb you," he counselled, 
"if you wish to attain a conception of the higher 
life ; my people guard the door, and, as yoii know, 
will allow no one to enter nor themselves intrude ; 
as I lie here at perfect ease, my nargJiilch induces 
that trance condition I wish, and my universe 
unfolds to my view." 

The only peculiarity I noticed was the always 
burning wood-fire on the open hearth, so con- 
stantly replenished that the heat of the room was 
never less than 65° and often 10^ higher. 



INTRODUCTION. 21 

My first experience of Vesey's mystic world 
was one dull November afternoon ; a thick fog 
had turned to rain, and his cheerful fireside was 
an oasis in London wretchedness. I was at my 
ease in smoking jacket and soft buckskin slippers, 
my roomy arm-chair was in the very front of the 
fire ; Vesey was in his happiest mood, and the 
conversation which had been brisk became desul- 
tory, and the silence often broken only by the 
bubbling of the iiargJuleh, as Vesey drew furtively 
from the sinuous pipe which reached him as he 
lay stretched inelegantly on his divan. 

It was of course a dream, but very difterent to 
any previously experienced. In the first place, 
I appeared to be gazing at a large screen of a 
browny drab colour. Suddenly I noticed that in 
the centre there was something bright ; no sooner 
had it attracted my attention than it instantly 
burst into a scintillating blaze of colour, of a 
colour which was new to me, for into its com- 
position neither red nor yellow nor blue entered ; 
it had no suggestion of any of the secondary or 
tertiary hues, and as I looked into its magnificent 
depth, enraptured with its beauty, it seemed to 
centralise and be set against a background of 



28 INTRODUCTION. 

fiery opal, with every varying tint of which this 
new colour contrasted sharply ; as I looked a 
broad black bar appeared across the upper half, 
a white one across the lower, both shewing with 
equal distinctness ; then, as my gaze faded, I saw 
this new colour showing dimly through the jet 
black of the streak across the upper half, whilst 
the portion covered with the diaphanous white 
band remained totally hidden. 

I opened my eyes. Vesey was sitting upright 
on the divan, an amused expression on his face. 
" What have you seen ?" he asked. 

" A new colour," I replied. 

" Can you describe it V 

" I think so." 

"Well.?" 

I remained silent. 

" Come ! Speak ! Was it transparent or fuligi- 
nous .'' Opalescent or phosphorescent } Aplanatic 
or atramentous } Glaucous, xanthous, or gridelin } 
Or perhaps murrey, lateritious, or cymophanous } 

"Don't ! I will write out the description." 

" You may spare yourself the worry ; remember 
I have been a journalist, and the attempt to 
describe a new colour will only cause you to curse 



INTRODUCTION. 29 

the cecity and ablepsy of an cxcecated generation. 
Yet, if language cannot convey even an idea of 
a mild exaltation of the colour sense, is it sur- 
prising that man remains etiolate ? Probably 
you and I are the only persons living who have 
seen the colour ; now tell me what colour was 
it ?" 

I understood his humour. " I must see it 
again," I replied. 

"Are you at my end of the spectrum ? Am I 
likely to have a companion in my investigations, 
or are you with so many modern mystics at the 
other ? 

" What separates the two ? Is not the whole 
field of the unknown one ? " 

" In the appreciation of colour the difference 
is only some 350 billion vibrations the second, 
in the speed of light waves — but that means 
the whole of the universe as measured by man's 
senses," 

On another excursion into the unknown, I 
appeared to be viewing a world in which this new 
colour entered largely, and I saw moving about in 
it strange shapes, most of them of the more 
delicate shades of pink and heliotrope, but some 



30 INTR OD UCTION. 

fulvous, others pearly, all diaphanous ; occasionally 
two or more apparently united for an instant, 
and a vivid flash of yet another colour new 
to me was produced, which, glowing intensely, 
seemed to burn itself out with wondrous reful- 
gence, and change into a mass of iridescent 
syenite. 

My descriptions of such visions did not appear 
to afford any information to Vcsey, who ex- 
horted me to idealise differently and "create new 
thoughts." One day, when urging me into iiis 
field of ideal speculation, I told him t»hat it lacked 
variety; this he attributed to the extraordinary 
development of my colour sense. "It has the 
sameness of Danics Paradiso,'' I complained. 

"The sameness of Paradise! It is only the 
' Inferno' that lacks variety. Have you no better 
conception of future existence } Do you not 
know that heaven is Kalpa-Taroo, a tree of the 
imagination from which everyone gathers the 
fruit he expects } How otherwise could the 
heavens of true believers harmonise ^ The picture 
of Paradise drawn by and for the gold-keeping, 
jewel-worshipping, music-loving Jew is not satis- 
fying even to the modern cultured orthodox 



INTRO D UCTION. 3 1 

Christian, who rightly regards the Biblical 
description as symbolic ; for some it has no 
attraction, others it actively repels. Yet every 
man will find the heaven or hell he expects ; the 
Jew his golden Jerusalem, the Hindu his Nirvhana, 
the Pagan his Olympus, the warrior his Valhalla, 
and the poor savage his happy hunting ground, 
for in the future state the ideals of this are 
realised." 

" Then the good Catholic his thousand or more 
years of purgatory, and some eternal fire," 

"The thousand or more years certainly, accord- 
ing to the believer's conception of a thousand 
years, but not for ever ; because no one who can 
conceive eternity believes he merits everlasting 
punishment." 

" Then the suffering is measured, not by the 
enormity of the evil wrought, but by the wrong- 
doer's conception of the punishment due.-*" 

" Exactly." 

"A belief in such injustice would add a new 
terror to death !" 

" Is it wrong to give a man what he conceives to 
be his just reward.' In physical life do not the 
sick, the weakly, the incompetent, suffer more than 



3 2 INTR on UCTION. 

the strong, the healthy, the successful ? Are not 
misfortunes invariably accompanied with com- 
pensations ? Do you believe in the eternal fitness 
of things ? You, my friend, arc gravitating to the 
wrong end of the spectrum, instead of seeing in 
future existence an extended sphere of activity, 
greater knowledge, fresh powers, new desires, 
illimitable life, increasing variety ; you would 
confine yourself to an enlarged memory of the 
past, to live again and again the existences you 
have had, and renew the dreadful experiences of 
your slow development to your present not very 
enjoyable state of being!" 

" Is such my destiny ? " 

" Not if you will have it otherwise." 

" And you, Vcsey, what do you conceive to be 
your ultimate state ? " 

" Not Nirvhana ! At present I feel drawn 
towards the sun; I could luxuriate in its fierce 
warmth, gain new strength from its intense 
energy. Thence, ever onward, in illimitable, 
infinite space — there is ever room ! " 

" It is useless for me to attempt your idealisa- 
tions ; I must be useful at the other end of the 
spectrum." 






INTRODUCTIOX. 33 

"With no other ambition than to become a 
dead, joyless, unenh'ghtened, motionless moon !" 

Here I may observe that these ideas were not 
speculative abstractions ; to Vesey they were real, 
living, almost tangible, realities. 

From that time he endeavoured to make his 
views more pleasing, and was assiduous in directing 
my attention to objects which had no attraction 
for me, and of which I could not understand the 
significance. One day when we had been com- 
paring the houri-haunted paradise of the Moslem 
with that heaven in which there is " no marriage," 
he remarked that sex was but an accident, just as 
" in a future state some of the beings cannot hide 
a fact in their past history, whilst others are 
perfectly inscrutable both as to the past and the 
present, and the attraction of each kind to the 
other far surpasses in intensity any phase of 
mundane passion." 

Soon it became evident to Vesey that he and I 
were attracted to mysticism from different poles ; 
the only thing we both held in common was a 
dislike of symbolism and detestation of ritual. 
When Vesey found that I was, to use his term, 
" at the other end of the spectrum," he helped me 



34 INTR OD UCTION. 

to a better understanding of mysticism in its 
nearer relations to human life. We used to study 
together some of the problems which were sub- 
mitted to him for advice ; we would seek out cases 
of extraordinary psychical experiences, analyse, 
and comment upon them ; for a time he took an 
interest in this work, and even annotated a number 
of other people's experiences upon his own 
initiative, but this was not so interesting as the 
speculative mysticism which grew to a master 
passion and occupied him night and day. I 
suggested that he should write a' theory of 
apparitions ; some fragments only, scrawled upon 
the margin of theses drawn up by myself and 
submitted for his consideration, are all he wrote. 
From them it appears that he held that man after 
death has " other concerns than those which 
occupied his attention during life on earth ; the 
phantom or apparition is usually but a thought- 
picture deeply impressed upon the ever-living 
memory, and observable by those in whose nature 
there is a sufficiently responsive chord in active 
sympathy with that which sustained, received, the 
original impression." 

" Periodically or irregularly recurrent appari- 



(r. 



INTRODUCTION. 35 

tions are usually produced by the individual after 
death, recalling to memory the experience of a 
certain fact of earth life; when, for instance, a 
wrong done is deeply felt and rankles in the 
soul of the sufferer, the remembrance of the 
injury surges up into the memory during post- 
humous life, and is dwelt upon with such in- 
tensity of feeling that the thought is observable 
by men in the flesh." 

" The malignant phantom possessing a hatred 
of certain natures, objects, or localities is some- 
times unable to follow the attractions of the newer 
life it has entered upon, and haunts those places 
or people, and is observable ; in time this per- 
version succumbs to other impulses, and if the 
apparitions do not wholly cease, they at least 
become harmless and occur at irregular intervals 
and without malicious intent." 

"Minor material disturbances, instead of being 
attributed to elementary spirits, should be traced 
to irregular action of earth-force, an energy closely 
allied in its nature to that which causes volcanic, 
seismic, and electric disturbances, and at times 
escapes from the throbbing and over-fatigued 
creature which we call the earth." 



36 INTR OB UCTION. 

" The apparitions of phantoms of living persons, 
although less frequently perceived than the phan- 
toms of the dead, and attracting less attention, 
really deserve closer study at this time, for they 
prove that man is more than mere flesh and nerve, 
and they indicate his intimacy with the intelligent 
cosmos, or world force ; in like manner, from their 
rarity and the seemingly trivial circumstances 
which induce them, we comprehend better the like 
action of the posthumous phantom. It should 
also be remembered that man after death, possess- 
ing already a full knowledge of earth life, is not 
prompted by curiosity to live its details over again 
— thus spirit manifestation is often as accidental, 
both with regard to the cause and the apper- 
ception and the coincidence of observation, as is 
the ascertained apparition of a phantasm of a 
living person." 

Here I may explain that Vesey believed all 
occurrences were purposely brought about by 
world-force or the intelligent cosmos ; to him the 
word accidental had a different significance to 
that commonly assigned it, but in this instance 
he appears to use it in the ordinary sense. 
Apparently the most trivial occurrences would 






INTR DUCT TON. 3 7 

attract him, because he perceived their psychical 
significance. 

" Coincidence," he remarked to me one dav, 
" has convinced more people of the existence of 
Providence than have all the miracles. It is the 
seeming miracle brought about in a natural 
manner which touches the soul - sense, and in- 
fluences for good a man who would be only 
bewildered by seeing a revised edition of the 
Bible passing through a solid brick wall. You 
know the case of the mill foreman who wore a 
pocketless suit, and one day so far transgressed 
the factory rules as to secrete a penknife about 
him ; he could never explain why he was impelled 
to do so ; he had never done it before ; he has 
never done it since ; but that day he did it ; and 
because he had the knife was able to save the life 
of his master, whose neckerchief or ' comforter ' 
had accidentally engaged with a fast rotating 
shaft, and hoisted the wearer to the ceiling. It 
appeared to ///cm a direct interposition of Provi- 
dence, and in like instances is almost always so 
regarded ; often as a direct answer to prayer for 
preservation. Of course, answered pra}'ers are 
much too frequent to be the result of accidental 

D 



38 INTRODUCTION. 

coincidence : it is rare indeed that a request for 
a psychical favour is not accorded, and this is a 
further indication that a closer knowledge of the 
intelligent cosmos is not denied to those who 
desire it ; a guardian angel, a mentor, or an actual 
spiritual adviser is at the call of everyone, but as 
the manner of working is incomprehensible to 
many, I will explain it by assuming the case of an 
orthodox theologian who feels an overpowering 
impulse to read any particular book, from Volney's 
Ruins of Empires to Robert Elsmere. He believes 
that the impulse is the instigation of the devil to 
an act designed to tempt him from his belief; the 
temptation to read is always before him, his power 
to resist becomes weaker and weaker ; he prays 
that the temptation may be removed, or that he 
may have power to resist it. The next time the 
book is before him, open perhaps, he is about just 
to glance at its contents, when instantly there is 
a message, ' If you read you will become blind.' 
The dread of physical misfortune kills the desire ; 
he is saved from the temptation ; his faith is 
strengthened. There are messages which com- 
mand and impel one to do directly the opposite 
to what one has fully determined to do. When 



INTRO D UCTION. 39 

one's will is subordinated to an impulse to the 
commission of an act at variance with reason, 
previous experience, and intention, the impulse 
is followed, and if a catastrophe is thereby avoided, 
the person warned and saved is blindly grateful 
to the spirit guide and becomes superstitious." 

After what I have reported of my first con- 
versation with Vesey, it seems hardly necessary 
to give his view of the manner in which the 
phantoms make themselves known : that they do 
not usually materialise in order to be observed, 
but act directly upon the sense nerve, or brain, 
awaken the memory of themselves in order to 
be at once recognised, and influence rather than 
compel action. " Our waking thoughts, our sleep- 
ing memories, the records of the whole of our past 
experiences arc available to the phantom, just as 
fully as is the actual mechanism by which we are 
actuated, and as the phantom knows that the idea 
of a stone wall obstructing our progress is quite as 
effective to change our path as the actual obstacle 
would be, he creates the idea as being less trouble- 
some than producing real masonry." 

" The fact that the phantom acts upon a higher 
plane than the material one should increase the 



40 INTRODUCTION. 

dread we have of its interference rather than 
lessen the awe with which we regard it, for it is 
much easier to combat earthworks, of which our 
senses have cognizance, than struggle against 
the psychical wrongs done by malicious beings 
working on a plane where the mischief wrought is 
known to us only by the disastrous results to our 
psychical and material well-being." 

"The worst natural phantoms are those of 
persons whose earthly life is cut short before 
naturally developed ; particularly of those evilly 
inclined, who are killed whilst attempting some 
wicked act, and powerfully animated by lust or 
passion." 

"The worst unnatural phantoms are those of 
persons who, during earth life, have been able to 
attract to themselves some of the world-force, or 
energy, without intelligence." 

" Not one, nor a dozen, but legion," complained 
Vesey, " for they are possessed of that lowest of 
all attributes, the faculty of uniting ; of taking 
common action against the separate individual, 
just like fellows of a Society, or subscribers to a 
Trade's Union. Pah ! blinded by their own greed 
they do not see that ever)' work in creation points 



INTRO D UCTION. 4 1 

to the evolution of the individual, so they linger, 
hindering all, and missing every chance of 
development." 

The stories which reached us, the experiences 
we ourselves had, and the cases in which Vesey 
was consulted were, Vesey declared, nearly all 
concerned with the work of the evil-disposed 
phantoms ; the recountal of them could serve no 
useful purpose, and the selection I have made is 
of those cases in which the higher principle is not 
wholly obscured. 

Three stories, however, do not properly come 
within this classification ; one, " A New Force," 
appears to me to warrant insertion, as illustrating 
a possible achievement on the material plane; 
the other, "The Face of Nature," is a narrative 
of Vesey 's, which in my opinion forecasts the 
direction of some of his later experiments; it was 
with others in a parcel of MSS. handed to me 
after his death, which took place suddenly, and 
was attributed to failure of the heart's action, 
though readers of the story may find indications 
of a more recondite cause. The story of Robert 
has been still more recently notified to me, and is 
introduced because the phantom has points which 



43 INTRODUCTIOI^. 

differentiate it from others of the astral type, and, 
altliough the manifestations appear to have been 
motiveless, this publication of the particulars, 
together with the capital portrait of the phantom, 
drawn from memory by the artist to whom he 
appeared, may be a means to the identification of 
the person, and lead to the elucidation of the 
mystery connected with its periodical reappear- 
ance. 



r^ 



TIic Dark Sliadozv, 



IN November, 1888, I was ordered to relieve 
Nurse Rose at Ikacknal House, Kbcry, where 
she liad been her full term of six weeks. It was a 
hopeless case, and I had of late had so many that 
I felt disheartened, and was so dismayed at the 
cheerless aspect of the deserted, straggling village, 
and more particularly of the lonely house on its 
outskirts, that I was inclined to sacrifice my career 
and return forthwith to Kyrwick with Nurse Rose : 
many times since I have wished that I had done so. 
Nurse Rose was not long in getting away ; a farmer 
drove her to the station. I watched the spring- 
cart as long as it was in sight, then shut the heavy 
iron gate in the old high wall, and burst out crying. 
I walked slowly up the weedy path through the 
neglected and desolate garden, with its dark gloomy 
evergreens and leafless old trees. It was already 
becoming dark, and I saw, or thought I saw, some- 
thing like a luiman figure, dimly discernible, 



44 THE DARK SHADOW. 

crouching behind some overgrown and gnarled 
espah'ers at the far end of the garden. I hastened 
to the front door, which I had left ajar ; but it 
closed with a bang before I reached it, and no 
sooner had the echo it produced died out than I 
heard an ominous chuckle ; it seemed close at my 
side. There was nothing for it but to make my 
way round by the espaliers to the other door, and 
this I did with face averted and as fast as my legs 
could take me. The little village girl, our sole 
establishment, was astonished to sec me out of 
breath and sobbing in her kitchen ; my manner 
frightened her, and she never got over her aversion, 
which was unfortunate, for she and her mother, 
who came once or twice to char, were the only 
people to speak to. 

My unfortunate patient, however, required 
constant care. Poor woman, I hardly knew how 
to take her at first ; she was so importunate, so 
querulous, so insistent upon constant and im- 
mediate attention, that I thought she would weary 
me to death ; but I found that it was because she 
was afraid to be alone, and not that she had 
determined to have the full value of her money 
in service, as it is the manner of some coarse 



THE DARK SHADOW. 45 

natures to exact. For fifty years she had lived 
alone and uncared for in that dreary village, 
unloving and unloved ; there appeared to be no 
relative to solace her age, or comfort her dying 
moments with sympathy. To the doctor also she 
was almost a stranger, and although she suffered 
from a wondrous number of diseases, not one had 
the merit of being uncommon or interesting. 
Chronic bronchitis, with dropsy, a sphacelitic 
limb and senile atrophy, are merely trouble- 
some and hopeless. 

It was indceda dj;cadfu[ti^me. The close, stuffy 
sick-room with bronchitis-kettle always steaming, 
and the air reeking of Iodoform, nauseous com- 
pounds, and the ever-prevailing odour of death ; 
the huge four-post bedstead and its heavy curtains; 
the heavy, well-polished press ; the equally sub- 
stantial and inelegant chest-upon-chest ; the dirty 
and foxed engravings in their worm-eaten frames; 
the badly-polished bare floor and rush-bottomed, 
cruelly angular, and impossible chairs ; these and 
other reminders of that age when people regarded 
hardship, torture, and agony as daily necessaries, 
all added to the prevailing gloom — a gloom which 
was not enlivened by such glimpses of day as 



46 THE DARK SHADOW. 

one obtained through the small latticed window, 
o'ershadowed by the huge arms of an elm from 
which the vigour of youth had long since departed. 

Then the doctor, a grumpy, dried-up, ill-at- 
easc old bachelor, whom nothing could please, 
barely noticed me — I suppose I have Nurse Rose 
to thank for that — and had nothing to say to his 
patient. Then the mild-faced, soulless curate, who 
was a sort of hereditary incumbent, nephew to 
a vicar who invariably wintered in the South and 
passed the summer in Scotland. The charwoman, 
Kate's mother, a grasping, cruel, bargain-driving 
peasant woman, and a young, very boorish, taci- 
turn farmer, who drove me back to the station at 
Soltun-in-the-Marsh, were the only other persons to 
whom I spoke except the village lawyer, Mr. Shum. 
He came but once, ostensibly to see Mrs. Bailey, 
and assure me that the nursing-fee would be paid ; 
really I think to see me ; for he asked me to visit 
him at Frog Hall — what a name for a house! — on 
Sunday afternoon and try his Madeira. A would- 
be waggish and not at all nice man, Mr. Shum. I 
was glad when his visit ended. 

Then out of doors dull November ; dead leaves 
strewn thickly over dank grass, and muddy roads, 



O- 



THE DARK SHADOW. 47 

rotten sticks which cracked, and bursting acorns 
which crunched beneath one's feet ; a sleepy- 
village, with dirty cottages, dilapidated church, 
and a barn for a school ; pools of water in fields 
and roads, and ponds hidden by dead rushes ; 
drizzle, fog, the churchyard smell of Nature in 
extremis ; no paint, no life, no colour, no solidity 
anywhere visible ; rather decrepit walls, worn-out 
thatch, cracking boughs, huge, waving black poplars 
— their sooty trunks at every angle but a right one 
— moist leaves and skeletons of leaves; old withered 
hags ; children of stunted growth ; dejected curs 
too ill to yelp ; heavy-limbed, leaden-eyed, listless 
men ; lazy pigs rooting for offal. Such are my 
recollections of Ebery. 

All through, the house was cheerless. In the 
damp, unused hall an old mildewed hunting-whip 
hung against the wall over the head of a mangy 
fox, which, cut off close behind the ears, and with 
only one glass eye, grinned like a death's head at 
a moth-eaten jay perched in a broken case over 
the door. The rooms were even more gloomy : 
threadbare carpets, the furniture rickety and 
angular and scant ; the curtains thin, colourless, 
and patched ; the linen blinds of Isabella hue and 



48 THE DARK SHADOW. 

full of holes, and the ceiling cracked and dirty, 
and ornamented with long-deserted cobwebs ; and 
peering into the gloom of the corners one noticed 
tiny heaps of wood dust and the shrivelled-up 
corpses of insects long since dead. There was no 
sign of life, neither cat, nor dog, neither mouse nor 
fly ; a stray reptile which had wandered from the 
congenial dampness of the moss-covered yard had 
yielded its low life, and lay mummified on the 
flagged floor at the edge of a mat too rotten 
to raise. 

* 

On the second day Kate, our tiny, juvenile 
maid-of-all-work, told me that on the third floor, 
in the room farthest from that in which my patient 
lay, a man lived. "The woman's son," she said, "a 
poor creature, but evil disposed ; at enmity with his 
dying mother, and barely able to keep life in his 
own body." Kate attended to him, but he mostly 
foraged for himself when she was absent from the 
kitchen, for he possessed the cunning common to 
those whose intellect has only in part developed. 

For more than a fortnight my life there was 
simply dull. There was no change in the condition 
of the patient ; she was not only resigned to death, 
but anxious for a termination to her suffering. The 



* 



THE DARK SHADOW. 49 

little girl attended to us as she was able, but was 
an unconscionable time on her errands. The doctor 
came in and hummed and hahed ; the curate 
called thrice, the postman called once — with a 
note for mc from the matron — and time dragged 
on, my odd hours being spent in reading aloud 
Paley's Evidences, or Jeremy Taylor's Holy Dying, 
to my listless patient. 

The monotony was becoming dreadful ; it 
wanted but a month to Christmas, and it seemed 
possible that I should have to while it away amidst 
the in festivity of Ebery. 

In the middle drawer of the chest-upon-che.st 
was a little store of money upon which wc drew 
for our daily supplies. As I saw it dwindle to very 
small proportions, I fear I longed for it to become 
exhausted ; only in order to see where the next 
supply, if any, would come from ; everything 
was so insulse. My patient, I thought, took very 
little interest in it, until one day she accidentally 
lisped something which made me more careful of 
her trifling hoard ; she was not a lovable object, 
barely likable, but really I felt more for her than 
for many who were far more interesting. 

On the last Friday in November I noticed a 



50 THE DARK SHADOW. 

change ; there could be no doubt she was sinking 
fast. This the doctor corroborated ; she had 
repeatedly asked him when the end would come. 
He was now able to tell her. "At four o'clock 
to-day," he said shortly. He bade her a more 
kindly farewell than I thought him capable of, 
gave me a few final instructions, bade mc good- 
bye, and went. 

My patient seemed much relieved ; she would 
not allow me to send for the curate, " Not again, 
nurse, not again — you will stay with pie — tell no 
one," she whispered. Of course I reassured her, 
and I told no one. 

"When's her goin' to dic.^" asked Kate bluntly, 
the next time I entered the kitchen. 

I answered as kindly as I could. 

"'Cos I ain't a goin' to stay here while hcr's 
dyin'. Mother says I needn't." 

" What has your mother to do with it .'' " 

" D 'yer think I 'd be here now if 't warn't fur 
mother.' Her'd thrape mc if I went whum, but 
her sed I needn't stay while her's dyinV 

" Are you afraid .'' " 

" Afeared ! A course I 'm afeared, so you '11 be 
by-and-bye. I suppose you dursen't leave ,'' " 



• 



THE DARK SHADOW. 51 

" I should not think of leaving, nor must you," I 
replied, and I escaped quickly from the kitchen, 
for there was something in the girl's manner which 
alarmed me. 

Slowly the hours went by, the silence broken 
only by the often reiterated " How long ? " or 
"What time is it now?" of my patient, in whose 
condition there was no change. As it grew dusk 
I put the clock on half an hour and lit my small 
lamp. Four o'clock came ; five o'clock ; my patient 
grew restless. Six ; seven ; she accused me of 
deceiving her. And so on until midnight, when 
she fell into a troubled sleep. In the morning she 
seemed stronger, but depressed in spirits, and I 
could not rouse her. On Saturdays Kate's mother 
went to char at Frog Hall. No one came to 
Bracknal House. Hour after hour crawled slowly 
by. My patient besought me to end her suffering; 
if only I would give her a treble dose of medicine, 
or snatch from under her the pillows on which 
she was propped ; anything which would snap 
the slender thread which held her to this world. 
These requests were so earnest, so often repeated, 
the state of the patient so piteous, that I fear I 
became somewhat unnerved. Once only I looked 



52 THE DARK SHADOW. 

out of the window ; and saw an old man with 
his spade over his shoulder limping towards the 
churchyard. I turned quickly away, and my 
patient recommenced. She upbraided me with 
want of heart ; reproached me for my attentions 
to her, and cried at my refusal to do her wish. 
"If I only had more money to give, you would 
do it, you know you would," she gasped exasper- 
atingly, and all I could do was to sit at the dressing 
table, with my back towards her, my head upon 
my hand, and bear with it. All through that long 
Saturday, all through the long, long dreary night, 
I had to hear it ; often with hands clenched and 
grinding teeth, and my heart listening to what I 
could not shut my ears to. 

At last day broke. My patient was worn, and 
I half mad ; our solitude was unbearable. I told 
Kate she would have to sit with my patient, and 
I — went to church : made my way through the 
thick fog which hung over the village, but cleared 
to show me a newly-dug grave yawning beneath 
the dripping yew. Everyone knew that Mrs. 
Bailey was dead ; the doctor had told them so. 
They appeared, too, surprised to see me, but after 
service no one spoke to me except the doctor. 



0- 



' THE DARK SHADOW. 53 

"Why has not Shum sent up his man to take you 
to the station ? " he asked. I told him it was 
probably because his patient was not yet dead. 
" She died at four o'clock on Friday afternoon," 
he said. "Confound it, won't you understand .''" 

" I am afraid I do not." 

The doctor fumed. " The thing is doncl' he 
said. " I made out the certificate yesterday, 
Fluck has it now, he'll be round for the body 
to-morrow. You understand, don't you .'' " 

" I think it will be best for you to come with 
me now," I answered. 

" 1 1 Oh, no, not again. I can do nothing. 
Good morning." 

I went back alone, Kate seemed stupefied with 
terror at having been left so long ; in an hour or 
so things resumed their usual course. 

As soon as possible I shut out the heavy day, 
but I could not make the room cheery ; even my 
lamp refused to burn, and had to be replaced with 
snuffy candles. As I turned over the words of 
the doctor, and looked at the patient, I thought 
it strange that the woman was not dead. " Why 
could she not die ? " 

Perhaps I spoke the question ; at any rate the 

E 



54 THE DARK SHADOW. 

patient understood ; she groaned. " I will tell 
you, nurse, I will tell you. I shall not die to-day 
unless j^« — ah, you won't! but listen to me." 

I drew a chair near, and bent over to hear her 
story, told in short gasps : painfully, discon- 
nectedly, but understandable. 

More than fifty years ago, she said, she had 
loved the man who owned the house in which 
we were. During his absence she was faithless, 
or rather was coerced into marrying Mr. Bailey, 
a man of fierce temper and violent disposition, 
and who was both cruel and resentful. When 
her lover returned he committed suicide, " here in 
this room," she gasped — " with a saddle-pistol — 
at dead of night, on the last day of November, 
fifty years ago." 

" And your husband } " 

" He swore that I had been false, and left me, 
but vowed that — in fifty years — dead or alive — he 
would return and be avenged on me. ' When your 
dead lover will no longer be able to protect you,' 
as he said." 

" But your husband is dead } " 

" Yes, yes, dead." 

" And your son .-' " 



r^ 



THE DARK SHADOW. 55 

" That thiug ! He hates me — hates me — more 
than his father did." 

*' But you have not injured him ? " 

" No, but — I could not love — him — and he has 
— cursed me." 

" What can you fear } None can hurt you." 

" What can you know, child ? For fifty years 
I have never been outside but ill befell me, it is 
only here — in the house where he died — that there 
is peace — for I am forgiven by Judi ; I must join 
him before the other returns," 

"No, no," I replied quickly, "you will soon be 
at peace ; where nought can trouble you more." 

" No. It is not true." 

The death-bed is no place for argument. My 
patient was terribly agitated, so anxious did she 
appear to hear my answer, that her look frightened 
me. I took her hard, wrinkled hand in mine, and 
kneeling prayed for her earnestly, and as I prayed 
I heard short mocking laughs, and at each she 
clutched at my hand convulsively as if in terror. 
I dared not look up, my tongue was stilled, I 
shook with fright. Then all was silent except the 
heavy short breathing of the patient, her broken 
sobs and bronchial hiss. In time I gained sufficient 



56 THE DARK SHADOW. 

courage to look up. Her terror-stricken gaze filled 
me with despair ; I would have prayed but could 
not. 

My patient was the first to speak. 

" You are afraid." 

" No, no," I answered. 

" Then pray," 

1 could not. I passed my hand over my face, 
tried to persuade myself that I was only weak, 
nervous from long watching, that really I was not 
afraid ; but I got up from the bedside, and said 
that I would call Kate to serve ted — that I felt 
faint. The look of anguish on my patient's face 
as I made these poor excuses was heart-rending, 
and filled me with shame. Nevertheless, and 
notwithstanding her piteous appeal to remain with 
her, I went along the corridor to the head of the 
stairs, and called Kate. There was no answer. 
I went down to the kitchen ; it was empty, and the 
fire had burned out. I called again and again, but 
obtained no reply. Loneliness brought back the 
feeling of fright, and I turned upstairs eager for 
companionship — even that of my dying patient. 

I paused at the top of the stairs, determining 
to regain courage. Everything was explicable. 






THE DARK SHADOW. 57 

Kate had run away home. There was nothing to 
fear ; no harm could come to me. I ought to be 
ashamed of my cowardice. I was too familiar with 
death for that to frighten me, and these and 
kindred thoughts resolved me to be brave; but my 
newly-recovered courage quickly left me, when, 
as I neared the bedroom door, I heard sounds 
which my patient, bedridden as she was, could not 
possibly have made. Footsteps were audible, the 
drawing out of drawers, angry exclamations, 
splutterings, mingled with the groans of my 
patient. I remember peering into the room and 
seeing the strange form of a man, at the head of 
the bed, bending over it. I drew hastily back. 
Then came a faint cry, "Nurse! Nurse!" I 
fear that I staggered rather than walked into 
the room. Something told me that it was only 
the son ; and with any living creature I felt 
able to deal. 

This strange creature was gesticulating violently 
a few inches from his mother's face, muttering 
incoherently, occasionally spluttering words which 
were half intelligible, " Papersh crrsse." 

" What is it you want .-* " I asked firmly. He 
turned his face towards me, a small, pinchcd-up 



58 THE DARK SHADOW. 

hairless face, with eyes deep sunken, and lips 
drawn tightly across broken teeth. He was 
wretchedly clothed, and his ill-shapen form thin to 
attenuation ; his limbs were long, but his body 
bowed — a tabid, flcshless, cretinous creature who 
might have been seventeen or seventy for all one 
could tell, but evidently weak and unable to 
control his movements. 

He hissed a reply, the import of which I did 
not understand. 

" You must go, if you please," I said. " I have 
to attend to my patient." 

He understood, for he expostulated energeti- 
cally. 

"At once, please," I said, holding the door. 

I never saw a face so full of evil, perfectly 
demoniacal in its malignance. " Crsse womssh," 
he hissed ; but he did not go. 

Unfortunately I could not hear my patient, nor 
could I approach closer whilst he was there. I 
therefore grasped him firmly by the arm, thinking 
to remove him ; but as my fingers closed I felt 
that he was as strong and unyielding as one in a 
cataleptic fit, and instinctively my fingers relaxed 
until there was but the slightest pressure. "You 






THE DARK SHADOW. 59 

must go now, please," I said. " Come again if you 
wish — in an hour." 

Somewhat to my surprise he yielded, reluctantly 
it is true, and with jerky movements made his way 
to the door, hissing and muttering and gesticulating 
wildly with his hands. No sooner had he passed 
the threshold than I sprang to the door, shut it 
upon him, and locked it. 

He turned in a terrific fury, hammered at the 
door, and made the house echo with weird, horrible 
noises. I appreciated the mistake I had made, 
and opened the door, but blocked the entrance 
by confronting him. 

" Have you forgotten anything 1 " I asked as 
calmly as I could. 

A grimace was his only reply. 

" Come when you will after eight o'clock," I 
continued, " but come quietly ; you must go now." 
I tendered him a candle, pretending it was that he 
had forgotten. He motioned that he did not need 
it, and turned a\yay. " The door will be unlocked 
after eight, but do not trouble us without cause," 
I called after him. 

The poor patient was decidedly worse. I com- 
forted her as well as circumstances permitted. I 



6o THE DARK SHADOW. 

must confess that I was elated at the success of 
my encounter with the intruder. After I had made 
and taken tea, and thought the matter over, I 
concluded that my senses had been deceived, and 
that I had frightened myself needlessly ; in short, 
I recovered m)- nerve, and awaited composedly 
to carry out whatever wishes my patient might 
express. She requested that I should read to her, 
and this I did. It seemed to distract her attention 
from herself, but not for long; then she made me 
promise that I would not leave her again that 
night for anything; to this I agreed. ' I sat close 
to the bed and kept her hand in mine, only loosing 
it when I needed both to minister to her wants. I 
remember well looking into her face, and trying to 
trace in the coarse features the beauty which half 
a century before had attracted two men, and years 
before that had doubtless been the happy, smiling 
face of a child. I was not very successful, for 
surely never were human lineaments so brutalised 
by selfishness and fear ; but I felt an intimacy as 
of years. What little there was in her life I knew, 
and I remember that I felt puzzled then, as I am 
puzzled now, as to what useful purpose such an 
existence as hers had been could serve. 



THE DARK SHADOW. 6i 

She regarded me as her sole hope, gazed at me 
with a look of longing that was akin to love, and 
listened to every trifling thing I said, as though 
her salvation depended upon understanding it. 
No one, I am sure, had extended sympathy to 
her, and it was iliat she lacked. My talk was of 
such trifling matters as are distinctly human, and 
she became so far interested as to forget her 
immediate state. I was pleased that I had calmed 
her terrors, and she appeared to be so grateful for 
the relation of the few trifling private occurrences 
which concerned only myself, that I ventured to 
tell her of a weightier matter, one which I ap- 
proached with some diffidence, and blushing like 
a school girl ; a matter 1 would have confided to 
a loving mother, perhaps to one other ; but its 
relation to this poor dying woman was as pleasing 
to her as it was surprising to me. How I came to 
say so much I do not know ; perhaps because I 
knew she was dying, and would keep my poor 
little secret. Of course I was crying when my story 
finished, and the tears were rolling down her fat, 
furrowed cheeks too. It was unutterably silly, 
but I kissed her; then dried my eyes, and stood 
at the foot of the bed looking at her confusedly. 



62 THE DARK SHADOW. 

"God bless you, dear," she wliispcred, and 
turned her face away. Perhaps I had touched a 
chord wliich the orthodox and usual conversation 
would have missed. 

Then I sat down at the table and wrote for a 
short time in my journal ; read again to my patient, 
but she seemed to wish to chat. She complimented 
me upon the prettincss of our uniform, expressed 
herself as satisfied with the white cuffs and the 
long streamers to the cap. I wished to humour 
her, and crossed over and snuffed the candle, that 
she could sec better, and she told mc that I was 

really handsome and carried my odd years 

like a girl of seventeen. I just bowed my head 
and replaced the snuffers, and when I looked up I 
saw a man's face staring at mc out of the highly 
polished wood of the wardrobe. I remember that 
I drew a very quick breath, and the face, which 
had anything but a pleasing expression upon it, 
slowly died away from view as I looked. 

I did not cr)' out; I do not think that I betrayed 
my fear by any tremor. I could not trust myself 
to speak, nor should I have spoken of what I had 
seen ; but the very silence seemed to convey a 
knowledge of all to the dying woman. 






T//£ DARK SHADOW. 6^ 

" What time ? " she murmured. 

" A quarter past twelve," I replied. 

" No. You arc fast." 

I remembered then that I had put on my clock 
fully thirty minutes the day upon which she was 
to have died. 

" Perhaps," I replied. 

" Yes, yes. Do not leave me — you do not know." 
Then came some terrible gasps, and she was shaken 
with convulsive tremors. 

I made a supreme effort to be calm ; I felt that 
I must see something beyond that terrible room. 
I went to the window, and pulling aside the blind 
looked out into the night. I was surprised to sec 
that the fog had lifted, the moon shone brightly, 
the whole garden from the house to the gate was 
clearly visible. There was of course no one stirring; 
the silence was only broken by the dripping of the 
fog-damp from the boughs. As I gazed at the 
gate I distinctly heard it clang as though pushed 
to in haste, but it had not stirred. There was 
something coming along the path, for I heard the 
footsteps as of a person stealing, as on tip-toe, 
towards the house ; it was clearer than day, but I 
could see no one— no thing. 



64 THE DARK SHADOW. 

" Nurse — nurse — it comes ! "' 

I went to the bed, and took the woman's hand 
in mine ; she clung to it with all the strength of 
her feeble grasp. 

"I will not leave you," I stammered. 

Again that face appeared in the wardrobe — ivas 
there when I looked, and faded away before my 
gaze. 

The head of the bedstead was towards the door. 
I stood with my back to the door, facing the fire- 
place ; on my left, the window ; on the right, the 
bed ; and beyond it, at the foot, the table, with the 
candle burning brightly upon it. I am thus 
particular because the occurrences of that night 
can be set down only as I remember them, not 
perhaps in the order of their e.xact sequence. 

First (of that I am sure) the son came into the 
room, staggering, staring blindly, and ever blinking 
his strange deeply-sunk eyes. He groped his way 
to the wardrobe, opened it, and passed his hands 
along the upper shelves ; brought from there a 
small bundle of yellow papers, waved them above 
his head in an unmeaning fashion, and with them 
tottered from the room. His young-old wizened 
face, his terribly emaciated frame, and his ex- 






THE DARK SHADOW. 6$ 

pression of wicked cunning, I can see now as 
plainly as though he stood before me as he did 
then, and as I write I hear the peculiar chuckle, 
the only sound he made then. 

His footsteps died away in the corridor. All 
around, in the house and out of it, everything was 
still — still as the dreadful calm before the hurricane. 
The silence was broken by two sharp blows, as 
though struck with a withy switch on the window- 
pane. There was a firmer grip of my hand, a 
muttered cry of " Help ! " and I reeled as I saw 
glide into the room a shapeless, shadowy pillar of 
sooty blackness, larger than human size, but with 
a form no better defined than that of a huge 
cactus : without marks, or lines, or excrescences. 

It passed round to the foot of the bed, my gaze 
firmly riveted upon it. For a moment it passed 
between me and the candle, and obscured the light, 
and I remember noticing that the bronchitis-kettle 
on the fire ceased to emit its tiny puff of steam ; 
then it again moved to the foot of the bed, and 
the room instantly and perceptibly darkened, just 
like the darkening of the stage at a second-rate 
theatre, when they alter the scene from noonday to 
dusk. Then this thing extended ; as it were a 



66 THE DARK SHADOW. 

shapeless shadowy arm, or limb ivas stretching 
from one side and closing the door of the 
wardrobe ; then instantly another, like the trunk 
of an elephant, reached out to the candle, enveloped, 
and extinguished it ; all in very much less time 
than I can recall the memory. Then, in the glow 
of the fire and the dim light of the moon shining 
through the dirty, stained blinds, this sooty shadow 
extended upwards, bent under the canopy of the 
bedstead, reached in a straight line from the head 
to the foot of the bed immediately above the 
dying woman, then spread out in breadth and 
descended. There was a bright flash of light, a 
loud shriek from the corridor, a convulsive tug at 
my hand ; voices, the hurrying of many feet, low 
groans, ear-piercing yells, sobs, stifled cries — but I 
had swooned. 

When I recovered, the room was still dark, and 
I was alone. The candle had burned out in the 
socket ; there was a dull, red glow from the lower 
bars of the grate, and all was still, the silence 
broken only by the almost inaudible slow ticking 
of my clock. 

I knew that my patient was dead. 

There is very little more to tell. The affairs of 



Cr. 



THE DARK SHADOW. 67 

the dead arc no concern of mine, and the little I 
said to the doctor next day elicited only the fact 
that Mrs. Bailey had occupied the house at a 
peppercorn rent for fifty years. The lease ended, 
strange to say, the day of her death; and as she 
appeared to be very poor it is possible that this 
may have made her anxious to quit the world 
when she did. 

My stay at the house of the dark shadow almost 
terminated my career as a nurse. My nerve was 
shattered, and for a long time I was too ill to 
undertake any duty. However, twelve months 
amid the brighter surroundings of a convalescent 
home have assisted my recovery, although, I am 
sure, the events will never fade from my memory, 
nor, I fancy, will their freshness be impaired by 
new adventures. 



Retribution. 



I. 



THE sun had set, and the throng gathered 
on the gibbet-hill over against Durbuy dis- 
persed. A few lingered expecting that at sundown 
the death's man, Maclet, would administer the coup 
de grace to Bosly Velroux, whom he had that 
morning broken on the wheel, and who now lay 
groaning on the triangle ten feet above their heads. 
The bourrcaii, however, satisfied with his work, had 
no inclination to again mount the scafibld, and his 
young assistant had no liking for the horrid task ; 
so the two climbed up into their cart, taking their 
twine and wire with them, and made a seat of the 
hurdle upon which the wretched Bosly had been 
drawn out of the town in the morning. No one 
cared to stay longer, and the idlers, although they 
would not ride with the executioners, followed 
closely at the tail of the vehicle, and descended to 
the inhabited valley. 



0. 



RETRIBUTION. 69 

Very dim were the shadows thrown by the 
scaffold and its hideous burden, before any human 
creature again trod the high land ; then as dusk 
mingled with darkness a young girl came from the 
direction of the hamlet of Rom, and with quick 
steps made her way directly to the scaffold. She 
peered up anxiously at the wheel, from which the 
blood was still dripping. 

" Bosly ! Bosly ! " she called. 

A groan was the reply. 

She drew out from under her blouse a long 
thin rope of knotted hay-bands, and removing her 
sabot, tied one end round it, put a fragment of 
limestone in the toe, and pitched it high into the 
air. After several attempts she succeeded in 
getting it over a cross-bar of the scaffold, then 
drew the two ends towards one of the three 
uprights supporting the triangle, twisted the rope 
round the post, made the ends fast, and quickly 
scaled to where the wheel lay. 

" Bosly ! my Bosly ! " she sobbed. 

She wiped the blood and froth from his mouth 
and nostrils with some damp lint she had brought. 

"They said thou wert living, and I came, my 
Bosly ! " 

F 



70 RETRIBUTION. 

The man looked at her and recognised her. 
"Mis(S," he groaned. 

" Thy Mist* ! and thou know'st me ? " 

She placed a drinking-flask of bcechwood to his 
lips, and he gulped down the contents greedily. 

She looked at his terrible wounds, and clenched 
her hands in grief and miserj'. 

"Thou hast not forgotten, Mise," he murmured. 

" I live but to avenge thee, my Bosly. Oh cruel ! 
cruel ! " Her sobs stayed her words. 

" Listen my Mise ! Jean Bex is now at Barvaux." 

"I will kill him wherever he may be." 

"Not if thou hatcst him — his torment must 
endure longer than mine. Thou hatest him, Misd-.?" 

" Even as thou dost, my Bosly." 

" Thou forgettest not thy oath t " 

" Until thou art avenged seven score times thy 
Mis(§ cannot forget." 

" God give thee strength, my Misd" 

" The good God will give thy Mis^ strength to 
avenge thee." 

"Amen! Amen!" 

" Thou must go, Mise." 

" Not whilst thou art in torment." 

"If thou'rt seen here they'll kill thee, Mis^ ; 



0. 



RETRIBUTION. 71 

burn thee in the market-place at Marche, or cast 
thee into the donjon at Laroche." 

" I fear not, my Bosly." 

" What seest thou, Mis6 ? " 

"'Tis but the crows flying near, I will not 
leave thee, Bosly." 

" The crows ! " A look of terror came upon his 
face. The girl bent low and kissed him repeatedly. 

"Thy father knoweth that I confessed nothing 
at the torture." 

" He hath told me." 

"At the fifth coqiicviari I accused Nycs, Jesu 
forgive me. Is he free .'' " 

" Free as air, my Bosly. Thou wcrt brave, and 
thou goest from me " 

" 'T is not they, 't is Bex who accused falsely. 
'T is he who leaves thy Bosly to languish in 
torment till the crows eat his living " 

" No ! no ! my Bosly ! " 

" Thou art brave, my Mise." 

" Canst thou ask it ? " 

" Thou wilt not leave thy Bosly to be killed by 
the foul beasts of the air } " 

" Aye, even so much I dare." 

" Promise ! " 



72 RETRIBUTION. 

" I promise." 

" See how brightly the stars shine, my Mis6. 
Even as they thou wilt be if thou dost as thou 
hast vowed." 

"Then the brightest of all stars, thy Mise." 

"And no crow so black, no beast so foul as thee, 
if thou breakest thy vow ! " 

" Break my vows after seeing thee thus mangled 
here ! I could serve them as thou art served, and 
strike but one blow a year that their torment 
mifjht endure the longer." 

Her savagery pleased him. 

" Tell me again how thou hatest him," he pleaded. 

" I hate him as I love thee, with all my soul." 

So they talked, until the cold night air 
heightened the fever of Bosly Velroux, and thus 
before daybreak it was only a dead body that 
Misd guarded, and into the heart of which she 
plunged again and again the short miscricorde 
she had picked up on a deserted battle-field. 

Then in the bright autumn morning she made 
her way over the crisp grass to the Devil's Seat 
overlooking the swift-flowing Ourthe at Barvaux, 
and tore her rope of knotted bands into hay by 
the way. 



RETRIBUTION. 73 



II. 



It was not often that Horace Vesey was favoured 
with a call by Dr. Victor Colquhon ; for the latter 
was a young man with a rapidly-growing practice, 
and although his increasing fortune was due to 
his success in the hypnotic treatment of dipso- 
maniacs, kleptomaniacs, and other decadents, he 
had to some extent forsaken the " promise of his 
spring," and joined forces with the materialistic 
section. He had taken as his motto Facta non 
verba. He practised, he did not preach. The facts 
of animal magnetism satisfied him ; he had no 
time for ideas ; so that, although he was constantly 
employed, he made no progress — that is to say 
what Vesey considered progress ; the Income Tax 
Commissioners thought differently. 

Dr. Colquhon, however, was not disinclined to 
consult Vesey whenever he had a case which was 
not within a reasonable time amenable to mesmeric 
influence, and he now had a patient who troubled 
him sorely. 

" He was introduced to me by Wimpole of 



74 RETRIBUTION. 

Stockton, or Sunderland, or some place that way," 
said Colquhon, " suffering from insomnia. Of 
course he had been drugged to death, and was 
half poisoned with morphia when I first had him. 
A very difficult case, but after a time I became 
hopeful ; but then I knew only part of the truth. 
Progress was checked, the patient grew rapidly 
worse. I knew that something was being withheld, 
but at last he told me all. I have the story 
written out ; for I knew you idealists rely upon 
an exact substratum of fact. Read it and tell me 
what you think." 

" What opinion have you formed .' " asked 
Vesey. 

"Oh, the man is mad, there is no doubt about 
that ; but I want to cure him, and I am persuaded 
that vou can tell me how." 

Ube Statement q>X Raines 3Becbinan. 

"I was born at G in the year 1861. So far 

as I know I have no hereditary taint. Until after 
my marriage I enjoyed perfect health, and in the 
year 1884 was accepted as a first-rate risk by the 

Life Assurance Co, for ;i^3,000, which policy 

was made over to M , now my wife, by an 






RETRIBUTION. 75 

ante-nuptial settlement. With reference to M , 

she is two years my junior, I felt drawn towards 
her when we first met (a year and a half before 
marriage), it being a case of what Goethe terms 
elective affinity. I was quite happy when she 
consented to be my wife. From the day of our 
first meeting to the moment of writing this paper 
we have never quarrelled, nor has there been any 
serious disagreement between us. My wife, both 
before and since our marriage, has had good 
health, and the trouble I have experienced has 
never been felt by her; and although she is very 
sympathetic in other matters, she is, apparently, 
quite unconcerned at my sufferings — she says they 
are wholly imaginary. 

"My trouble commenced during our honeymoon; 
I am unable to fix the exact date. My earliest 
recollection is of a sensation : the feeling one has 
upon awakening after a bad dream, the details 
of the dream itself being entirely forgotten. I 
dreamed but rarely before I was married ; after- 
wards, as I have stated, I remember being 
awakened by a sort of nightmare. At first the 
impressions of the dream were faint, and I quickly 
fell asleep again. The next night, or the next 



76 RETRIBUTION. 

night but one, the dream would be repeated ; then 
it occurred not only every night, but twice, even 
thrice, and the details were all forgotten on 
awakening, but the impression ever grew. The 
sense of oppression increased ; the agony became 
so great I dared not, after awakening, again fall 
asleep. V>y my side my wife lay sleeping calmly 
and happily, a sweet smile on her baby face, and 
often her hand thrown over me as in the caress 
with which she dozed into unconsciousness. I 
took a sleeping-draught; for one night my 
slumber was undisturbed, but I arose in the 
morning unrefreshcd. Repeating the experiment, 
I found to my dismay that the opiate not only 
failed to prevent the recurrence of the dream, 
but increased the agonising sensation I always 
experienced on awakening. I at once consulted 

Dr. W . lie attributed the restlessness to 

business worries, and prescribed a change of air 
and scene. It was impossible to act upon his 
suggestion at once, but I arranged fur a short 
continental tour, and started as soon as business 
engagements allowed. 

"At that time the after-effects of the dream 
were felt by me as a distinct sensation of pain in 



V 



RETRIBUTION. 77 

my right arm and leg, a terrible oppression of the 
chest, and a prevailing languor I cannot specify. 
The remedies prescribed by the doctors were 
taken; all had the same effect — they heightened 
the sensation, and the insomnia increased. I 
therefore discontinued medicine, and took narcotics 
but sparingly, and only when in fits of des- 
peration. 

" The tour my wife and I had planned was 
through Brussels and the Belgian Ardennes to 
Luxemburg, thence to the Black Forest, and home 
by Strasburg and Paris. We stayed at Ghent and 
Bruges, and there my malady increased. At 
Brussels I first remembered the dream — that 
terrible tragedy I have endured so many hundreds 
of times since. 

" I felt that I was bound to a wheel ; that with 
a heavy bar of iron some person struck at me, 
breaking each of my limbs, not always at the 
first blow, for in all thirteen blows were felt, the 
two last crushing in the ribs of my right and left 
sides respectively. The pain was excruciating 
and the languor intolerable ; I felt beside myself 
with frenzy. But all these details I have already 
given you by word of mouth. 



78 RETRIBUTION. 

" We hurriedly left Brussels, and the next place 
at which we stayed was Barvaux. I had never been 
there before, indeed had never been out of England, 
but the place seemed strangely familiar. As we 
walked over the hills to Durbuy I saw nothing 
that was fresh; the ruined chapel, the arched cliffs, 
the woods, the slaty-topped hills — one and all I 
had seen somewhere. I did not need to ask or to 
be shown the way. Durbuy bored us, and we 
walked out to an adjoining hamlet, the name of 
which I forget if I ever knew it, but the locality 
was familiar. Then we walked towards Barvaux. 
Tired, we sat down to rest. After the manner of 
those suff"cring from insomnia I dozed. The dream 
came again, more vivid than ever before. The 
wheel I saw was now mounted on a triangular 
scaffold right where we were, one corner pointing 
to Barvaux, the other to Durbuy. I could have 
shrieked with terror, but nothing, my wife states, 
escaped my lips. 

"After I had endured my martyrdom, and sunk 
into that ever-increasing agony which is death, I 
noticed that a figure was regarding me. In time, 
for I was feeble and confused with the torture I 
endured, I saw the face of the figure which looked 



0. 



RETRIBUTION. 79 

upon me and gloated over my anguish — it was 
the face of my wife ! 
" I can write no more you do not already know. 

We left that accursed district at once. Dr. W 

persuaded me to confide in you. You know that 
your treatment for a time alleviated my suffering. 
The dream returns, is ever-recurrent ; many, many 
times a day I have had to endure it, and always 
with the full details as for the first time experienced 
at Barvaux. Is it to /ci// me ? Will it first drive 
me mad? Is there nothing in medicine, nothing 
in science, which will give me twenty-four, aye 
twelve, or even six hours' relief? My torment is 
unendurable." 

Vesey read without showing that he felt the least 
interest or sympathy. He tossed the paper idly 
aside, asking, " Have you his wife's statement ? " 

" Great Scott, no!" vehemently replied Colquhon. 

" Well, you advised a separation, of course." 

" Naturally." 

" And it does not succeed, or you would not be 
here." 

" I think it might have done, but the fellow 
would not keep away, or go far enough away. I 



So RETRIBUTION. 

\vorked very hard ; he was the very worst subject 
to hypnotise I ever met. If it had not been that I 
was proud of my reputation in the matter, I should 
not have persevered to the extent I did. Well, to 
some extent he got better, and I had him so far 
under control that he at last consented to take a 
voyage in a sailing ship to New Zealand, and leave 
his wife here with her friends. The fellow had not 
been gone three months before he was back ; got 
put ashore, or aboard a passing vessel, and turns up 
declaring that he was worse whilst going away 
than when returning." 

Vcsey did not appear to have been listening, 
lie had before him two large musty folios he had 
reached from one of the closed presses, and was 
calmly turning over the leaves. " There is no 
doubt this is the case mentioned in a note to 
Damhoudere, the Antwerp folio edition of 1648 ; if 
so, full particulars are contained in the ' Archives 
du grand Grefitc des Echevins,' province of Liege. 
It appears that some time during the rule of 
Archbishop Ernest, probably about 1609, one 
Bosly Velroux was broken on the wheel at 
Durbuy for some outlawry. Later, during the 
period of Ferdinand, a woman called Mise de Rom, 



r^ 



RETRIBUTION. 8i 

or Derome, was accused of witchcraft at Laroche 
by one Jean Bex ; he testified that by her sorcery 
she caused him great suffering and damage both 
to body and effects. This she denied. Put to the 
torture, she accused Bex of having sworn falsely 
and brought about the execution of the man 
Velroux, and attributed the misery of Bex to the 
remorse he felt at having caused the degradation 
and punishment of an innocent man. There 
appears to have been some investigation made ; for 
Bex adhered to his statement later, and specified 
the particular witchcraft, as being tortured with 
brodequins and the wheel, and declared that on 
these occasions he saw the accused Mise sitting on 
the scaffold looking at him and gloating over his 
anguish. The woman was then again put to the 
torture, and declared that on the night of the 
execution she had climbed on to the scaffold and 
conversed with the culprit, and her words were 
written down ; and she made oath that her accuser 
knew at the time of this, and that it was his own 
conscience which troubled him. This declaration 
was sufficient to warrant Bex being put to the 
torture, and we arc informed that he died at the 
seventh coquemart. How this fact was twisted 



82 RETRIBUTION, 

round as corroborative evidence of the guilt of 
Mise only a grcffier of that epoch could make 
clear; but there is no doubt that Miso, after 
lying for a time in a donjon of Laroche Castle, 
was duly executed upon the accession of Maxi- 
milian Henry to the episcopate ; that is to say, 
about 1O50." 

" And the only evidence you have to connect 
tlicse two is the fancied retrocognition of a land- 
scape by a hypersensitive neuropath ? " 

" I have sufficient evidence to convince me ; it 
is you who need the proof of connecting links." 

" I do not hold the theory of reincarnation." 

" Of course you do not. Whoever would think 
you guilty of that heresy, Vic. .'' " 

" Have your little joke, since it pleases you. 
You overlook the fact that it is no trifling matter 
to this poor fellow. Take a serious view of the 
case." 

" Your interesting patient with his imaginary 
disorder." 

" Insomnia is not hypochondriasis." 

" Then disordered imagination, if you so prefer 
it " 

Dr. Colquhon made a gesture of dissent. 



RETRIBUTION. 83 

" We have his view of the trouble. Let us regard 
it from his wife's standpoint." 

" Why his wife's } " 

" Is she consciously or unconsciously producing 
his uncomfortable condition ? Has he wronged 
her? Is it part of the vengeance of Bosly 
Velroux ? Is it her revenge for the pain felt 
by Mise Derome as she sped down the hill- 
side at Laroche inside the barrel lined with 
spikes ? " 

" Was the woman killed that way } " 

"You do not need to be told how they served 
witches in Flanders in the middle of the seven- 
teenth century." 

" Wait ! The only particulars I have relating to 
Mrs. Bechman are concerning a number of strange 
star-shaped cicatrices on the face and arms. A 
fine, tall, fair, clear-skinned woman but for these 
viaculosa. The scars are just such as would be 
produced by the incision of spikes." 

" Colquhon of little faith ! A regarder of birth- 
marks, moles, lines on the palm, creases of the skin 
and their possible significance, yet ignoring the 
obvious source of their origin. But we are agreed; 
we assume that James Bechman two hundred and 



84 RETRIBUTION. 

fifty years ago was Jean Bex ; that M. was Mis6 
of Rom ? " 

" Assume it ? Yes, but it is only assumption." 

" Assuming it, James Bcchman suffers what he 
deserves." 

" Man ! where is your pity ? " 

" I feel none." 

" No sympathy for his suffering } " 

" None." 

" Yet be merciful. Mercy is of all qualities 
the " 

" Pah ! Nature knows no such quality. Mercy 
has no place in the scheme of creation. Mercy is 
base currency, justice the only legal tender." 

" Be just to him then." 

" And to others." 

" What will you do ? " 

" Nothing." 

"What am I to do to alleviate his torment .'' " 

" Nothing." 

" I must do something." 

" Oh well ! Treat the symptoms in the usual 
way as they arise. It will amount to ' 

There was a knock at the door. "A gentleman, 
sir, to see Dr. Colquhon. Mr. Bechman " 



0, 



RETRIBUTION. 85 

But the servant was pushed aside. 

A tall large-formed man strode hurriedly into 
the room. He was very thin, nervous, and 
trembling like one worn with fever. His eyes 
shone brightly, but his gaze was wandering. His 
face was partly hidden by a bushy black beard 
and very heavy eyebrows, but the darkness of the 
hair, and the tiny bright red patches on each 
cheek, only heightened his pallor. Every feature, 
every line, every movement expressed his suffering; 
his imaginary torment was a dreadful reality to 
him. 

His presence roused Vesey, but the emotion he 
felt was betrayed by the restless movement of his 
lips only; his eyes looked as dreamy as though he 
saw nothing of what was taking place before 
him. 

" It is with me now, waking or sleeping ! " cried 
the intruder. " Oh, Colquhon, do sovictJiing for 
me ! I have not slept an instant since I saw you 
yesterday, and I have suffered the torment six 
times. Help me ! Save me ! You must ! You 
shall!" 

" Come, come now, my dear fellow, calm your- 
self. No nonsense here ! " said Colquohn. 

G 



86 RETRIBUTION. 

" Calm yourself ? See ! There 's the hurdle ! 
and the wheel ! " he pointed to the floor, and 
looked at Vesey's thick Turkey pile in terror. 
Then he clenched his fists, flexed his arms 
spasmodically, and then threw himself to the 
ground in a paroxysm. 

Colquhon would have raised him, but Vesey 
motioned him to be quiet. Then the wretched 
man, with varied contortions, acted as though the 
executioner were performing his barbarous work. 
The limbs twitched, and shrank as from expected 
blows ; and the man groaned and 'shrieked, and 
called for mercy ; prayed and cursed by turns. 
Then the paroxysm subsided, and he fell into a 
state of torpor, groaning faintly and calling for 
water. 

Vesey was clumsily rolling a cigarette, Colquhon 
was watching his patient, looking up from time to 
time and glancing furtively at Vesey. 

Then the man stirred as though awakening from 
a deep sleep, looked listlessly about him, passed 
his hand over his face and raised himself on one 
elbow. Colquhon watched him closely but re- 
mained silent. Then he appeared to recover him- 
self; he arose, threw himself wearily into a low 



r^ 



RETRIBUTION. 87 

chair, put his elbows on his knees and buried his 
face in his hands. For some time no one spoke ; 
then the visitor asked : 

" Does your friend know all ? " 

Vesey answered immediately and with emphasis 
" I know all." 

" Can you help me ? " 

" No one can help you." 

" Then I must end my misery by death." 

" You know that will not end it." 

The man looked up in alarm. Two minutes of 
oppressive silence elapsed before he asked, " What 
am I to do .-• " 

" Undo what you have done." 

" I have done nothing," he expostulated weakly. 

" So you say, so you tell your wife. This 
statement of yours " — and he pushed the folded 
paper away from him with his still unlighted 
cigarette — " informs me to the contrary. You have 
not written tlie truth. Goethe und Wahlver- 
wandschaft, forsooth ! Your marriage was not for 
love ; yours was but an affinity like that of the 
base metal for a pure element which it consumes, 
but is shrunken instead of enlarged by its nourish- 
ment. More, you have dared to violate the 



88 RETRIBUTION. 

grandest emotion Nature has evolved. By what 
false accusation did you separate your wife from 
him whom she loved ? By what lies did you 
coerce her into the loveless union with yourself? 
You know the wrong you have done ; you know 
a part of the punishment. What will cure you is 
the sympathy of others, but this your sufferings 
will never excite; and the greater they become the 
more you will pity yourself and so feed your 
malady. You know the remedy ; repair the injury 
you have done unto others. Neither in time nor 
eternity can you have justice until yoti have freely 
rendered it ; you can decide ivhen. Take your 
patient away, Colquhon, and leave him where he 
may effect his own cure." 

"But are these accusations true.-*" queried the 
doctor incredulously. 

"They are true," muttered the man, sitting 
with hands clenched on his knees, and glaring 
ashamedly at the carpet. 

The doctor looked enquiringly at Vesey. " You 
regard symptoms, I study causes," the other replied, 
as he threw the unsmoked cigarette upon the 
hearth, and walked to the door. 



Tlie Sleepless Man. 
I. 

THE POST TRAIN. 

A FEW minutes after the train had left St. 
Petersburg, the passengers in the sleeping-car 
had arranged their packages and sat down to talk 
to each other. 

My vis-d-vis was a stout, elderly, bald-headed 
man, with a dark moustache, heavy double-chin, 
and peculiarly arched eyebrows. He had the air 
of a sleepy man who could with difficulty keep 
awake. 

He took out a tobacco-pouch and rolled a 
cigarette, a sure indication that his home was, or 
had been, in the south of Russia. 

I tendered him a light. After thanking me, 
and looking at my baggage, he asked me if I 
was on a sporting tour. 

I answered that I was travelling to Moscow 



90 THE SLEEPLESS MAN. 

with the intention of getting some bear and elk 
shooting with a friend who lived on the Yaroslav 
Railway. 

" I am a great sportsman, or rather I was before 
my wife died. My health will not now permit me 
to indulge in field sports as I used to do. Still 
I shoot one or two bears every winter, and 
occasionally an elk." 

" Do you live near Moscow .''" 

"At Lieschneva, on the Knieschma Railway. 
There is plenty of large game in the ilistrict. The 
will to hunt is still great within me, but I am 
weak, nervous, and physically incapable of exercise. 
I will tell you how the change came about. We 
were living in Odessa, my wife, son, daughter, and 
myself. It was vacation time, my boy was home 
from the university, my daughter had finished her 
education, and we were preparing for a trip to the 
Crimea ; my wife went into town to make some 
necessary purchases. They brought her home in 
the evening — dead. She had been run over in 
the street by a carriage and pair, and from the 
moment she was knocked down had never opened 
her mouth to speak. It was a great shock to me ; 
to my children also ; but they were young, and 






THE SLEEPLESS MAN. 91 

recovered. I was terribly prostrated, fever super- 
vened, chronic nervousness resulted, and from that 
day to this, now nearly five years ago, I have 
never had a refreshing sleep. You cannot 
understand this } It is nevertheless true. I have 
travelled, I have tried the remedies prescribed 
by the best doctors in Vienna, Paris, and London. 
I have consulted them personally, and followed 
their advice as to diet, change of climate, and all 
that sort of thing, but the only sleep I get is 
obtained from a dose of chloral, or sometimes 
from a milder opiate I receive from a physician 
in Paris. It is very bad. I always want to go 
to sleep and yet can never do so. If for instance 
I go out shooting, after walking a few yards I am 
overcome with fatigue, the gun falls from my 
hands, I sink to the ground and doze, but for a 
few seconds only. I awake and am unable to con- 
tinue my sport — return home, lie down, but cannot 
sleep. My daughter plays to me, for she is a 
great musician, and when she plays I seem to be 
a little refreshed. She is a great singer too ! Do 
you know that there are two Pattis } one the 
Italian Patti — Adelina ; the other, the Caucasian 
Patti, my daughter, Tatiana, whose acquaintance 



92 THE SLEEPLESS MAN. 

you must make. She is in the ladies' car, for, 
as you know, tobacco smoke is very bad for the 
voice, and she has a splendid voice, a soprano of 
great volume. She can play with the C in alt, play 
with it, sir, and even one or two notes still higher 
she can sing distinctly and with ease. There is a 
great future before my daughter, but unfortunately 
she wants practice and the aid of a first class 
teacher. She is too devoted to me to live in 
towns where such a master can be procured, and 
1 cannot live in any large town, not even in 
Moscow, where last year I purchased a house 
for ourselves. Vou must understand that my 
daughter's voice is strong, rich, and powerful, and 
as she had constantly to practice, the neighbours 
complained to our landlord. It became almost 
impossible to keep a fine suite of apartments, so 
I bought a house — not a very large one, but still 
a fine dwelling — standing in its own yard and 
garden in the best part of Moscow, near the 
Pretschenska, in a quiet street with but little 
traffic. It was of no use, I could not live there, 
and we returned to our summer place at 
Lieschncva. Ah, you do not know the life I 
lead, unable to go to sleep, unable to forget cares. 



f^ 



THE SLEEPLESS MAN. 93 

even for a time, never for an instant to be oblivious 
to what is going on about you. Can you imagine 
anything more dreadful ? Then to see people 
sleeping calmly, how terribly annoying ! It 
irritates me to such an extent that I shriek out 
in agony, and they wake up and abuse me. So 
do you know what I did } It was the only thing 
to be done. I married a gipsy w^oman from 
Arcadia ! You know that pleasure resort at 
St. Petersburg. The gipsy band of singers seems 
to be always there ; at whatever hour of the day 
or night you may command them they straight- 
way appear. I thought that one of these women, 
used to being awake all through the night, and 
night after night, would never annoy me by 
lying at my side fast asleep, so I married one 
of them." 

He sighed and remained silent, from which I 
inferred, from his point of view this second 
marriage had been a failure. When next he 
spoke he evaded my leading questions, and turned 
the conversation into another channel. 

By-and-bye he began to recount his sporting 
exploits, and I related certain of my experiences 
upon a yachting trip in the North Sea — a 



94 THE SLEEPLESS MAN, 

memorable voyage, for none of us got to sleep 
for nearly a week. 

" Yes, /^/^ had something to keep you awake." 

"Apart from that, English sailors can live and 
be well with but very little sleep," I remarked. 

" I do not know that. Have they no wish to 
sleep .? " 

" Possibly, but they are so used to having only 
four hours' sleep in the day that they neither need 
nor desire much more." 

" It is possible." 

" For instance. Captain Boyle, of the Babara, 
arrived at St. Petersburg from Liverpool, a voyage 
of eleven days, during which he had only eight 
hours' sleep in his bunk, and an odd hour or so 
from time to time in the chart-room, yet, having a 
chance of a trip to Moscow with friends, he started 
off by the post train on Tuesday, and when he got 
back on the Friday neither he nor his friends had 
once closed their eyes in sleep." 

" I should like to know Captain Boyle. I should 
like to travel with such a man. Can you do 
without sleep ">. " 

" Fairly well," I answered. 

" Come down to Lieschneva with mc. It is very 



THE SLEEPLESS MAN. 95 

quiet, but you will have plenty of sport by day, 
and at night \vc can play cards, talk or amuse 
ourselves in some way. My daughter is always 
telling me to find a companion, but my Russian 
neighbours — you can imagine what they are like 
after dinner — as torpid as a boa-constrictor which 
has swallowed an ox. 

" Why do I not make a companion of my son } 
He prefers the society of younger men than 
myself He is in the capital, and is doing all he 
can to spend my money. I think he will succeed 
in spending all our fortune. But what does that 
matter } My father left me a little more than two 
million roubles, I spent them as fast as I could, I 
did not squander them ; that is to say, I always 
obtained fair value for my money. I have still 
more than one million roubles, in addition to my 
little estate at Licschneva. My daughter has 
four hundred thousand roubles left her by her 
mother, and although my son is only twenty-two, 
and is spending two or three thousand roubles 
every month, there will still be enough left for us. 
So, what does it matter after all, even if the young 
man does spend a thousand roubles or more every 
month and enjoys himself 



96 THE SLEEPLESS MAN. 

"Ah ! here is my daughter, Tatiana Glebevna 
Nalivaete, the Caucasian Patti." 

A well-dressed young girl with fair hair, a 
sallow complexion and spare figure, came into the 
car and sat for a few minutes with us. Her eyes, 
unlike her father's, were bright, sparkling, and 
lustrous, but she had his air of lassitude. She was 
thin to attenuation, and seemed to be haggard, 
worn, and restless from constant watching. Having 
satisfied herself that her father was comfortable, 
she retired to her own car, and we again conversed 
upon sporting topics. 

Very early in the evening the Russian had his 
berth made up for the night — it was the upper cross 
berth, and opposite to mine. He took a small 
quantity of a colourless fluid, and I sat under the 
lamp reading the last number of The Field, which 
I had obtained in St. Petersburg. Whenever I 
looked towards his berth I saw him lying with his 
eyes wide open, and gazing vacantly at me. 

At about eleven o'clock his daughter again paid 
us a visit, and shortly afterwards I got into my 
berth. 

" Are you asleep ? " I asked. 

" No, never again to sleep, never again to sleep," 



THE SLEEPLESS MAN. 97 

and he turned over wearily, so that I could no 
longer see his face. 

I do not know that sleeplessness is infectious, but 
neither I nor anyone else in that car slept soundly 
that night — even that common terror of the 
sleeping car, the persistent snorer, was silent, for 
all were awake — some reading, some restlessly 
turning from side to side, or ever and anon lighting 
cigarettes and breaking the silence with a few 
words spoken in a low tone to their neighbour, or 
occasionally someone, with an ejaculation of 
impatience, would turn his face to the wall and 
resolutely court sleep and rest. 

Only my friend remained still and silent. Yet 
he was awake, I knew it ; everyone in the car 
knew it ; but, with his face averted, he lay as 
motionless as though he had been of carved 
stone. 

Towards three o'clock in the morning his 
daughter quietly entered the car. Her thin straw- 
coloured hair hung loose about her shoulders, her 
shapeless gown showed all the angularities of her 
spare figure, her restless eyes glanced rapidly from 
one occupant of a berth to another, and as she 
neared where her father lay I closed my eyes. 



98 THE SLEEPLESS .VAN. 

She did not speak, her hand sought his, there 
was a gentle pressure, her head was bent down as 
she gazed into his face, a silent kiss, and she 
quietly and quickly withdrew, hiding her face in 
the woollen wrap she had thrown over her 
shoulders. 

Is it unnatural that I was anxious to learn 
more about the sleepless man and his devoted 
daughter ? 

Before we reached Tver, and took our coffee, I 
had determined to accept his invitation to 
Lieschneva, and at Moscow all the details were 
settled as we breakfasted together. Early in the 
afternoon we drove to the terminus of the Nijni- 
Novogorod Railway, to catch the only train in 
the day to Knieschma. 



II. 

THE FAMILIAR. 

It was an uneventful ride to Knieschma. The 
travellers were few, and the journey was broken 
by a long wait and change of trains at the 
Junction. Towards six o'clock in the morning 



THE SLEEPLESS MAN. 99 

we arrived at the small wayside station which was 
nearest to my host's estate. 

It wanted two hours to break of day, but there 
was quite a company of peasants with lanterns 
awaiting our arrival. The sledges were at once 
loaded up, and we commenced our drive of twenty- 
five miles through the forest to Kertchemskoi, 
following for some miles the road to Lieschneva 
— if a barely indicated track through the forest 
and over the moorland may be termed a road — 
we then left the highway for the sledge path to 
the villages, and as in each sledge there was room 
but for one person besides the driver, and the 
sledges kept in Indian file, it was impossible for 
me either to communicate with my host who 
was in front, or with his daughter, whose sledge 
with three others conveying the baggage followed 
mine. 

We passed through several villages, all very 
much alike, and neither in the landscapes nor in 
the homesteads was there anything worthy of 
admiration or notice. 

Shortly after eight o'clock the first sledge got 
some distance ahead, and I noticed that a sledge 
with a single occupant was trotting along before 



loo THE SLEEPLESS MAN, 

mine. My driver hurried his horse, but we could 
not gain upon the sledges in front, and looking 
backwards I noticed that Tatiana and the baggage 
sledges were falling far in the rear. Thinking 
that my host wished to arrive in advance of us, 
I slackened speed ; but we did not lose sight 
of the two sledges, although both drove rapidly 
ahead. 

At about nine o'clock we reached Kertchemskoi 
and our house. It was a dreary one-story dwelling 
of wood, and stood within its own yard at some 
distance from the road, and a couple of hundred 
yards outside the village. It was apparently 
deserted, but the entrance gates, as we neared 
them, were thrown open by a stalwart young 
peasant, and several domestics were gathered 
about the porch awaiting our arrival. 

Nalivaete's sledge was empty, and the over- 
driven horse was being unharnessed. The second 
sledge was nowhere visible, although I was sure 
I had seen it driven into the yard close behind 
that of my host. 

And Nalivaete, when I saw him, tremblingly 
grasped my hand as he stammered a few words of 
welcome. The domestics silently helped us to 



t^ 



THE SLEEPLESS .VAiY. loi 

take off our heavy cloaks and overshoes, and 
Tatiana, all bustle and talking nonsense with 
great volubility, alone made a show of hospitality. 

By-and-by Nalivaete apologised for the scanty 
accommodation his house provided, but which, as 
a sportsman conversant with the rough and ready 
methods of country life, he hoped I would not 
despise. 

The room assigned to mc was a small bed- 
chamber at one of the angles, and at the farthest 
extremity of the large and well-heated hall 
which separated the kitchens and outbuildings 
from the rest of the house. 

With the exception of a small hanging mirror, 
the ikon, and a shelf of books, my room contained 
nothing but the furniture absolutely indispensable 
to a bed-chamber. 

The living-rooms were larger and sumptuously 
furnished, especially the best reception or music 
room, which had an elegant cabinet, a grand 
piano from a fashionable maker, and a large 
Persian divan. 

Madam Nalivaete, I was told, was still sleeping, 
and was absent from the breakfast-table. My 
host talked of sport, dozed, told us his symptoms, 

H 



102 THE SLEEPLESS MAN. 

drank freely, and seemed to be terribly bored 
and wear)'. 

Tatiana spoke in monosyllables, listened with- 
out interest to my feeble attempts at jocularity, 
and appeared undecided as to whether she should 
weep or go to sleep. Surely never did a meal 
drag on as did that one. 

Breakfast finished, Tatiana played, at her father's 
request, a few pieces of classical music, but ex- 
cused herself from singing, and retired to her 
apartments. , 

In the afternoon we sent for the staritza, or chief 
villager, and arranged with him the details of a 
hunt — three bears having taken up their winter 
quarters near a neighbouring village. Two land- 
owners, friends of my host, were to meet us at 
eleven next morning, and the beaters were all 
quickly engaged. There was nothing more for us 
to do until the morrow, and how to occupy the 
two-and-twenty hours which intervened was a 
puzzle. 

It was impossible to interest my host in any- 
thing. " He had," he said, " played every game of 
cards there was to be played — chess, backgammon, 
chequers, five stones, puzzles, acrostics, all bored 



THE SLEEPLESS MAN. 103 

him," and he proved that he was fast becoming a 
confirmed melanchoh'c hypochondriac. 

The dinner was the sole remaining event of the 
day. We dined at six, and Madame Nalivaete 
presided. She was a taciturn woman, with the 
features and manners of the gipsy — a combination 
of the gkittonous untaught savage, and the alluring 
voluptuous gipsy queen. Her coal-black eyes — her 
only beauty — were most attractive, and had 
evidently been trained to serve their owner well — 
they sparkled with merriment at the weakest jest, 
rewarded with a kindly glance of encouragement 
the little attentions of Tatiana to her father, and 
spoke volumes of love in answer to the polite 
flatteries of her melancholy husband. She looked 
frequently towards and at me, but where I saw 
only sprightly roguishness there lurked the cun- 
ning of a fox. 

The dinner was a good one, and the vieim would 
have satisfied any gourmand. Fresh caviare ; rich 
soup made from a fish similar to our bream ; fresh 
fish caught from the lake through a hole in the ice; 
a fillet of beef; roast venison, game pAtis ; apple 
cake, ices, Russian wines, kvas, coffee and liqueurs, 
and of everything a profuse abundance. 



104 THE SLEEPLESS MAN. 

Tatiana ate but little. I was sure that she had 
both wept and slept since she had left us after 
breakfast ; now she assumed an air of gaiety so 
distraite as to be painfully evident. Madame 
Nalivacte also was acting; only the sick man 
was natural in his behaviour ; and when we at 
length retired from the table he lay down silent 
and motionless upon the divan, with his eyes 
vacantly staring at the cornice. 

With piano, guitar, and mandoline we whilcd 
away a few hours, but the merriment was too 
forced to continue long. 

Tatiana retired shortly after midnight, and a 
little later I went to my room, though in no mood 
for sleep. I never felt more wakeful. My brain 
was strangely excited, and in some measure to 
compose my thoughts I took down a book, and 
without undressing lay down to read. 

The volume was a ribald, jesting work, in 
French, published in Paris in the year three, the 
production of some wicked wit who had written 
when his world was mad, and his piquant if 
blasphemous stories lost nothing of their point 
from squeamishness on the part of either writer 
or printer. 






THE SLEEPLESS MAN. 105 

The book was not worth reading, but there was 
nothing on the shelf more interesting, and I read 
on until I heard the tick-tick of the death-watch, 
and looking up met the eyes of the ikon, smiling 
benignly through the smoky mist arising from the 
tiny lamp ever burning before it. 

I closed the book and listened. From the music 
room came the patter of the gipsy woman, inter- 
spersed with an occasional weird yell — that usual 
accompaniment of the peculiar dance of the 
Romany people, and I thought I saw the languid 
look of the recumbent Russian as he lay, silently 
and without interest, gazing at her gyrations. 

In another apartment a young girl was weeping, 
or praying, and here I lay reading the wretched 
witticisms of a mad man ! 

Veritably this is "a mad world, my masters"; 
but as perforce we must continue in our madness I 
banished serious thoughts, and resumed the perusal 
of the old French book. 

But my attention was divided. I heard that the 
death-watch ticked with greater vigour, the 
shrieks from the other room were in earnest, the 
sound of a real sob reached my ear from the 
distant chamber. My hand trembled, my sight 



io6 THE SLEEPLESS MAN. 

became dim, the light waned, and a cold, clammy 
hand touched my throat ! It was but a waking 
nightmare, to be shaken ofif by determined 
resolution. I arose, lit another candle, retrimmed 
the little lamp before the ikon, threw aside my 
book for once and all, and after smoking a cigarette 
felt drowsy and dropped asleep. 

But in a moment came again that cold, clammy 
hand, insidiously creeping along my throat, the 
better to obtain a firm grip. I awoke with a start 
to see the room filled with a faint bluish vapour, 
in which some indistinct figures seemed to be 
moving. 

Neither nervous nor superstitious, nor yet subject 
to illusions, I arose gaily ; the vision — if vision 
it were — was quickly dispelled, and somewhat 
puzzled at being unable to sleep, I determined to 
pass the night in company with my host. 

As I made my way to the music-room I 
heard the voice of Tatiana singing a topical song. 
Then she stopped, and played the hunting chorus 
from Dorothy. 

I entered the room noiselessly and unheeded. 
The gipsy was sitting in a chair opposite her 
husband, silent and sullen, with a dogged look of 



o. 



THE SLEEPLESS MAN. 107 

active discontent upon her face ; the husband 
motionless as usual, and with eyes averted. 
Tatiana, in her travelling gown, her hair loose, and 
with tears fast coursing down her cheeks, seemed 
to be playing against time upon the piano. She 
changed, from time to time, without pause, from 
grave to gay, from simple air to intricate key 
fingering, a musical medley such as an artist intent 
upon a tour de force might choose to execute, 
as proof of staying power and an extensive 
repertoire. 

Madam, grim, taciturn, and sulky, stared at me 
sullenly ; but Tatiana, at length perceiving me, 
turned her face away, but not so quickly that 
I failed to see her anguish. 

No interference was possible. Quietly I walked 
back to my room and paced impatiently to and 
fro until the music stopped, then I crept rather 
than walked towards the room once more. 
At the threshold I paused ; the door was open ; 
I could see the greater part of the apartment, the 
gipsy woman was not there. Tatiana, still seated 
at the piano, was watching her father, who, as 
though in a trance and quite unconscious of what 
he was doing, moved mysteriously about the room, 



io8 THE SLEEPLESS MAN. 

now crouching near the table, now violently 
gesticulating at the divan, again walking without 
apparent motive from one object to another, 
until at last, bursting with spasmodic sobs, he 
knelt with bowed head before the holy picture. 
Tatiana rose and knelt by his side, and his sobbing 
became less violent just as a light hand was 
placed upon my shoulder, and an icy cold finger 
touched my neck. I looked round to meet the 
flashing eyes of Madame Nalivaetc, gazing angrily 
into mine. , 

" Is Monsieur a spy ? " she hissed. 

" Your guest, Madame, and your husband's." 

" Do you understand the meaning of this .'' " and 
she gesticulated her disgust of what was taking 
place in the room. 

" Your husband suffers." 

'■ Pfui ! A madman ! You may learn more 
some day, take care that while here you do not 
learn too much." 

" I am already interested." 

" In what cannot concern you. Would it not be 
better to retire .'' " 

" If I can but serve you by so doing." 

" I wish it," and she turned away impatiently, 



THE SLEEPLESS MAN. 109 

walking through the hall towards her own 
apartments. 

I went to mine, but not to sleep, and I was 
still thinking of what I had witnessed, when 
some hours after a servant brought me coffee, 
and the business of an eventful day had to be 
commenced. 



III. 
THE BEAR HUNT. 

Than the bear hunt there is nothing more enjoy- 
able. The short, brisk drive over the cold snow 
to the village nearest to the bear's winter lair ; 
the merry chatter of the villagers who have 
gathered to witness your arrival ; the earnest 
bargaining of the staritza with his beaters ; the 
pretty faces of the young girls as they shyly peep 
from under their hoods at a strange face; the 
good-humoured smiles of the buxom dames who 
have come into the ring to see that their husbands 
are not cheated by the staritza; the muttered 
criticisms of the sour-tempered old men who made 
such good bargains and had such excellent sport 



no THE SLEEPLESS MAN. 

in their youth ; the new white sheepskins, the gay- 
coloured handkerchiefs of the women, the clear 
bright sunshine making the snowflakes sparkle, 
and brightening even the dull dark forest in the 
background, all furnish their quota of life to a 
scene which for earnestness, excitement, and gaiety 
has no equal. 

But there is a bear hunt of a different kind, and 
it was to one of these that my host introduced 
mc. The sUxriiza was melancholy, there were no 
beaters visible, and as we walked through the village 
to hunt them up the young ones hurried from our 
path, and the able men sat listening to our 
commands with apathy. The day was dull and 
the snow fitfully falling. We started out for the 
forest, a small band, trudging wearily through the 
deep snow in half-hearted fashion ; we were silent 
from ill-humour, not from love of the chase. We 
aroused the bear with a pistol shot, for none had 
the heart to cheer, and the sleepy brute ran directly 
towards my rifle and promptly fell to my aim, 
never to rise again. The peasants grumblingly 
swung him to a pole, and in silence we marched 
back to the village, where our arrival received no 
comment. From beginning to end it was a 






THE SLEEPLESS MAN. in 

wretched business, unworthy of the name of sport, 
and my success produced only a feeh'ng of disgust. 

The remainder of the day wc passed as we had 
the preceding one, and I went to bed early hoping 
to sleep soundly ; but I dreamed again, this time 
of the bear hunt. I was again at my post in 
the forest, and a bear— an immense animal — was 
advancing towards me. I fired, but it still came 
on ; I fired again and again until I had no loaded 
weapon left, and the brute reared within arm's 
length. I hastily seized my knife, but too late; 
the great animal falls heavily upon mc, and, buried 
in the snow, beneath his great rough chest I feel 
the heavy weight of his body, as his ponderous 
paw upon my breast forces me still further into 
the snow. 

I am crushed beneath his heavy flesh, stifled 
with the thick shaggy hot wool about his throat 
— I struggle to free myself, believing it is but a 
dream from which I shall soon awake. I do wake 
— it is not a bear which is burying me, but a 
monster feather-bed, with Nalivaete a-top, and by 
him held down tightly over my head. His knees 
are upon my chest, and he it is who, by exerting 
his great strength, is murdering me in his madness. 



1X2 THE SLEEPLESS MAN. 

It is impossible to escape. I am fast losing con- 
sciousness — there is singing in my ears — I gasp 
for breath and inhale feathers, nearly suffocated. 
I gasp again, and — wake. The house is silent, 
and it is sometime before I can realize that all I 
have suffered is but a dream. 

Sleep in the house seems to be quite impossible. 
As soon as I am sufficiently composed I again 
reach down the French book and commence to 
read. 

It seemed to me that in a few minutes the book 
fell from my hands, and that I dozed into a troubled 
sleep. I see Nalivaete come into my room and 
gaze at the bed. He listens, then disappears 
through the door into the adjoining apartment, 
quickly reappearing with a large soft cushion, and 
holding it before him in both hands he steals 
on tiptoe to the bedside. I see now for the first 
time the face of a fair woman lying upon my 
pillow. Nalivaete covers it with the cushion, 
and springs savagely upon the bed, kneading the 
writhing body as he sways from side to side upon 
his knees, grinning with demoniacal delight at 
the slight indications of movement under the 
pillow, which he holds down with both hands as 






THE SLEEPLESS MAN. 113 

determinedly as though he expected a thousand 
furies to spring from underneath it. The struggles 
cease ; a look half of pleasure half of pain 
appears upon his face, to disappear instantly as 
he raises himself and notices, looking at him as 
from the wall, two human eyes, clear, brilliant, 
conscious. No face nor figure is visible ; but those 
eyes have witnessed this foul deed. Trembling 
he stands up, and now as he raises the pillow to 
screen his face from those penetrating glances, the 
eyes change their position, coming nearer to me. 
He cannot hide himself from them. Fearful of 
moving, upbraided by their steady, reproachful 
look, he is constrained to regard the face upon 
the pillow, a face dreadfully altered, discoloured, 
distorted, motionless, soulless — dead ! 'Tis enough ; 
the face disappears, and I see the trembling form 
of Nalivaete kneeling humbly before the ikon, 
his head bowed and his frame shaking convul- 
sively as he sobs aloud. 

Then I feel an icy cold hand upon my throat. 
I see that Nalivaete shudders as I am touched, 
and his sobs cease. 

As I slowly awake there is a numbed feeling 
about my neck, and the room seems to be filled 



114 THE SLEEPLESS MAN. 

again with a thin bluish vapour, in which some 
unrecognisable figures are indistinctly to be seen 
moving about. There are two eyes quite plainly 
visible other than the eyes of the ikon, but as I 
become more clearly conscious of my surroundings 
they appear to be less distinct, and slowly fade 
from my sight. 

Confused, nervous, weary, and in a sleeping- 
waking dazed state, I grope together the bed 
coverings and stagger into the music room, where 
I lay myself down unthinkingly upoi^ the divan 
and fall again into slumber, which is undisturbed 
until soon after dawn. The servant again brings 
me coffee, and tells me that my host and his 
daughter have already risen. 



IV. 
THE WIZARD. 

"Ah, you have had a bad dream I fear, my 
friend." Nalivaete came quietly towards the 
divan and sat down by my side. 

" Will you tell me your dream } " he asked, as I, 
feeling very stupid, helped myself to the coffee. 



0. 



THE SLEEPLESS MAN. 115 

"Yes, certainly. I have been dreaming. A 
disagreeable dream, but of no consequence." 

" Do not say that. All dreams are of con- 
sequence, but no one seems to have pointed out 
yet how important dreams are in moulding 
character and in determining certain actions." 

" I never regard mine as of importance. How 
have you slept .•* " 

" But very little, not that I have not dreamt. I 
am haunted by dreadful day dreams, from which 
there is no awaking." 

" Is it always the same dream .-' " 

" Always the same subject, but variously 
presented. Last night during the few minutes 
I slept, I was haunted by a terrible nightmare. 
It has quite affected me. I must tell it to some- 
one ; poor Tatiana has trouble of her own ; 
moreover, she is so superstitious she would be 
afraid, and that would make me still more 
nervous, I might go mad. But I must tell it. 
Will you hear it ? You are not superstitious, and 
you will tell me what I am to think of it." 

" I can tell you that much before you begin. 
Dismiss " 

" No, no, first listen to what I have to say. 



ii6 THE SLEEPLESS MAN. 

It is about this woman I have married, I am 
afraid of her. She is not akin to us, she has 
no sympathy for me. She hates me, she hates 
me. Do you hear .^ What do people like these 
gipsies when they hate anyone } What do we 
do to those whom we hate ? We kill them, that 
is what she means to do to me. Do you hear ? 
She means to kill me. Last night she lay by 
my side, she was not asleep although her eyes 
were shut, and I did not think her to be foxing. 
I sat up in bed looking at her. While sitting 
so, I fell asleep and dreamed that she was hatch- 
ing a plot to destroy me. And how do you 
think this woman hopes to kill me ? She knows 
that these peasants — rude, ignorant fellows — will 
do anything they believe to be right. She is 

going to tell them that I am an • No, I 

did not dream that. What I dreamt was that 
I was turned out into the frosty night into the 
hands of a crowd of these peasants thirsting for 
my blood, they put an icy cold raw-hide rope 
round my neck, and fastened me to the back of 
a sledge. Then they drove out into the forest, 
and I heard the howling of wolves, and they left 
me there alone — alone." 



o. 



THE SLEEPLESS MAN. 117 

He ceased speaking, and sat looking curiously 
into my face. 

" Is that all ? " 

" Is it not enough ? But it was not all ; I 
wanted to escape, but I was fast by reason of 
the cord round my neck, and then when I cried 
out in my agony for someone to come and free me, 
I heard the mocking laughter of the peasants, 
and I saw that where I was there lay another 
body too ! " 

" Did you recognise it ? " 

"Why do you ask? I recognized it. How 
strange dreams are! It was no one whom you 
know. It was a person known to me some years 
ago, now, alas ! dead — dead!' 

"And your dream ended there.-'" 

"Yes, my dream ended there." 

" And what did you do } " 

" I was much frightened, and began to think 
how I could avoid this terrible fate, when I saw the 
gipsy woman's face at my side. She was still 
awake and she knew how I was suffering. And 
I thought if I could only kill her, if I could 
smother her with a pillow, crush her, anything 

I 



ii8 THE SLEEPLESS JLAM 

to be free of her, it would relieve my brain 
Why do you look so scared ? " 

"It is nothing," I replied, "go on with your story." 

" Well, I remained like that a long time, until 
I frightened myself. I really thought I should 
commit some crime, so I shrieked out for Tatiana, 
and the gipsy laughingly replied that Tatiana 
would never come again. Then we began to 
quarrel, and I became more calm. I always 
gain greater courage and become composed when 
I have to wrangle with some one. It is only when 
people refuse to make any answer that I get 
excited ; I become wild then. But what do you 
think of my dream .' " 

"It is simply a dream; an unpleasant one 
certainly. Perhaps both you and I ate too heartily 
last evening." 

Nalivaete shook his head. 

" Tell me what you think of it .-• " he persisted. 

" Well I will think it over, and we will talk 
about it again this evening ; meanwhile we must 
prepare for the bear hunt." 

The sun shone brightly, and out of doors the 
scene was gay, and I dared to hope that this 
day's sport would be enjoyable. 



r*. 



THE SLEEPLESS MAN. 119 

Unfortunately it was but a repetition of yester- 
day's proceedings, with two exceptions ; one that 
Nalivaete shot the bear, and a person who did 
not introduce himself followed us everywhere, 
and when I pointed him out to Nalivaete he 
was much agitated, but gave me no information 
as to who the stranger might be, nor did he 
address him in any way, but acted as though he 
wished to ignore his presence. 

This man returned to the house with us, but 
I lost sight of him among the crowd of domestics 
in the yard, and although I asked several of the 
beaters who he was, they declined to answer. 

In the hall Tatiana was waiting our return. 
She advanced gaily to meet me. " Have I to 
congratulate you upon success to-day .-' " she 
asked. 

"As yet I have accomplished nothing. Vaska 
has fallen to your father's rifle, his hand has 
not yet lost its cunning ; we can all congratulate 
him." 

She turned to her father, whose gaze wandered 
fitfully from object to object, and whose hand 
trembled like that of one who has sustained a 
severe shock. 



120 THE SLEEPLESS MAN. 

"Has anything happened ? My father is quite 
unnerved. Father, what is the matter with you ? " 

" Nothing, my child. I am getting old, and 
you know how I have suffered. The excitement 
of the chase is too much for me." 

She gazed pitifully at the man, who, with the 
help of a servant, was divesting himself of his great 
over-shoes and sporting accoutrements. 

" It is a great bear, my Tatiana, my largest 
and my last. Let the villagers have a plentiful 
allowance of vodka, and, if you c^n spare it, 
give them white bread and zakonski. It is only 
meet that they should celebrate the last bear 
killed by their master." 

" They shall have all, father, but do not talk of 
this bear being your last ! " 

" And why not, child ? Is it a pleasure to 
me to shoot a brute like that and suffer as I 
am suffering.'* Where is Irma .''" 

" She will not appear until dinner ; to-day, it 
will be served earlier than usual. Meanwhile shall 
I play to you .-'" 

The time passed quickly until dinner was 
announced, and when I left the table I returned 
to the deserted music room and lay upon the 



THE SLEEPLESS MAN. 121 

divan. Soon Nalivaete peered through the half- 
open door leading from the living room. 

Seeing no one but myself he hesitated, then 
quickly entered, shutting the door behind him. 

He was terribly haggard and worn and still 
trembling. 

" I want to ask you," he began, then stopped 
and his eyes wandered from one object to another. 

" About your dream t " 

" No, tell me about this person whom you say 
you saw." 

I described his figure as nearly as I could. 

" Yes, 't is he ! 't is he ! You saw him, you 
say .-* " he gasped. 

" I believe so. Do not be alarmed, for I was 
not in the least dismayed by his appearance." 

" No .? " 

He looked at me questioningly. 

" Is that all you saw } " 

"That was all." 

" That was all then, but you saw that figure 
before; you noticed its eyes in your bedroom last 
night." 

I started. 

" I do not remember it," I replied. 



122 THE SLEEPLESS MAN. 

"We arc alone. Whatever I say to you now 
is of no value. Why should I not tell you all ? " 

The man was, I thought, mad, and I did not 
answer. 

" Let me ask you once more. You never saw 
that figure before .•' " 

" Never ! " 

"Last night you dreamed. You saw me in 
your dream ? Speak ! " 

I did not answer. 

" Ah ! I see that you fear to answer me. You 
saw me — /'/// — my — wife ? " 

He bent forward, looking earnestly into my 
eyes. I thought I saw again that terrible dream 
drama enacted, and involuntarily I closed my 
eyes. 

" You think it strange that I dare to tell you 
of my crime. You are a stranger, there are no 
witnesses to support any statement you may 
make about me. It is a good thing for me to 
confess. Therefore I will tell you. How strange 
you must think it that I can calmly talk to you, 
can give you — a stranger — every detail of a 
crime for which I may be called upon to suffer 
capital punishment t " 






THE SLEEPLESS MAN. 123 

"Do not tell me. I do not want to hear any 
particulars. Go ! " 

" You shun me .-' " 

" I know all. Go ! Go ! " 

He did not go. He sat there silent, as though 
pained by my words ; then he proceeded to slowly 
roll a cigarette, while I watched him eagerly, 
savagely, not knowing what to do, and remaining 
inactive upon the divan. 

He continued to regard my agitation with 
unmoved curiosity. 

"Ah, if you would but hear all the story !" 

" Tell it to the priest or to the police, not to me ! 
Do go away ! " 

" I am braver now than you. I want to tell 
you all the details, then if you command me 
I will seek the police or the priest ; I do not 
care ! " 

" Not now ! I will not hear anything now ! " and 
I rushed from the room into the hall. 

A servant was hurrying towards Tatiana's 
apartments ; a sledge driver, covered with snow 
spray and the icicles hanging from his moustache, 
stood uncovered in the hall. 

" Oh, mistress ! " I heard the servant call, "our 



124 THE SLEEPLESS MAN. 

young lord has been hurt, and has sent for you to 
go to him at once ! " 

Tatiana, surprised and frightened, burst into 
tears, and asked incoherently for particulars. 

" What is the matter ? " I asked of the driver. 

"The young Barin, sir, the betrothed of our 
mistress, has met with an accident. lie is badly 
injured, and he wishes to sec the Barina at once." 

"And I dare not leave my father. Say! Is he 
badly hurt .•' " 

The man turned away his head and replied 
hoarsely, " I am told, Barina, that he is very badly 
hurt. He may be dying, and he wishes to sec the 
Barina, if only for a time. lie is so good, our 
young Barin. My lady, do see him, I have driven 
here fast ; my horse is fleet, and I can take you 
quickl)'. Vou may yet be in time to hear 
something from his lips, and I, Vanka, will be 
answerable to anyone for your safety." 

" I will ^o!' She turned to me. " Promise me 
that you will not leave my father until I return ! " 

" And allow you to go alone } " 

" That is nothing ; 1 have no fear. My father 
may be in danger, watch over him until my return. 
Do you promise } " 



0. 



THE SLEEPLESS MAN. 125 

" I promise." 

She put on a heavy fur cloak, and I went into 
the yard and watched her, as, seated by the side 
of Vanka, she rapidly disappeared across the 
frozen snow. 

I made my way to the music room ; Nalivaete 
lay upon the divan, his eyes open staring^ vacantly, 
a freshly-rolled cigarette between his fingers, a 
melancholy spectacle, and one that I had then 
no wish to contemplate. 

I sat down on m}' bed and read for a few 
minutes. Strange noises outside disturbed me. 
I called for the servants, there was no reply. I 
went into the hall and called again ; all was silent. 

I returned to my room and saw peering in 
through the double-sashed window a human face, 
horribly ugly and grinning fiendishly. As I 
stepped towards the window it vanished. 

I listened, there was the sound of shuffling feet 
upon the snow outside, a rasping noise as of wood 
grating against the wall, then all was still again. 
I went to the servants' quarters ; they were quite 
deserted ; and passing through the music - room 
I saw that Nalivaete too had disappeared. I sat 
down there and in a few minutes I heard strange 



126 THE SLEEPLESS MAN. 

voices outside. The door of the h'ving-room 
opened, the face of the man whom I had seen 
at the bear hunt appeared before me. 

I saw nothing but the face, pallid, with glassy 
eyes and a vacuous expression. I thought I 
noticed the features slightly relax, then the face 
disappeared. 

I glanced towards the other door, it was ajar, 
and a face peered through t/iat staring saucily at 
me ; at the window was another ugly grinning face, 
which as soon as I moved vanished. J made my 
way to the living room. The gipsy woman was 
there, seated in a low chair. 

"Ah ! Anglichannin ! You want to know what 
has happened, do you .-* How do you feel, 
batucJika ? Will you drink some coffee .•* Shall I 
tell you what is happening } Where shall I 
begin ? 

" At the beginning. Ah, ah, ah ! Where is 
the beginning, Golubchick? I don't know, but 
the end will soon be here. It is not yet eight 
months since I left my people at Arcadia to come 
here, and what have I not suffered since then, 
living with this teharodi." 

" A wizard .' " 



• 



THE SLEEPLESS MAN. 127 

" Krovososs ! a vampire ! a murderer ! phui ! " 

" What has become of him ? " I asked. 

"Chort vosini ! I don't know. Hark ! Can you 
not hear the Tcharodi's dirge ? " 

I listened, and from far away there came a 
sound as of voices slowly chanting : — 

" Mu — urderer ! Sorcerer ! 

So — orcerer ! Mu — urderer ! 
We have no fear. 

Mu— urderer ! So — orcerer ! 

So — orcerer ! Mu — urderer ! 

The end it is near. 
Mu— urderer ! So — orcerer ! 

Sorcerer ! Mu — urderer ! " 

Then came the same monotonous dirge, louder, 
nearer, and sung by many more people. Again 
and again I heard it, in as many directions, 

" What is to be done } " 

I looked inquiringly at the gipsy woman. 

"We shall escape. All the peasants from ten 
villages assemble here to put to death the sorcerer 
of Kertchemskoi. We who have lived with him 
may escape by purifying ourselves in the approved 
fashion." 

" And that is ? " 



128 THE SLEEPLESS MAN. 

" I will not tell you. A gipsy cannot perform 
it. What is that face at the window } " 

Turning round quickly I saw a shadow pass 
across the window, nothing more. 

" It was not a human face nor yet a mask," 
muttered the woman, advancing with hesitating 
steps towards the window. 

All outside was silent, and indoors there was no 
sound except the ticking of a clock and the 
hissing and crackling of the burning wood in the 
stove. 

« 

" You are not afraid, Irma ? " I asked as I 
followed her to the window. 

She replied with a malicious grin. Peering 
through the steam-covered panes I saw before me 
the wide expanse of snow on the moorlands, and 
to the right and left the dark line of the forest. 
There was no one in the enclosed garden, and 
the snow appeared to be untrodden round about 
the house. The moon, screened by a filmy cloud, 
shed enough light upon the scene for me to 
distinguish a band of persons approaching the 
village from the forest, and in the far distance was 
a solitary sledge apparently at a standstill. 

" Do you see yon sledge .-' " I asked the gipsy. 






THE SLEEPLESS MAN. 129 

" Distinctly. It brings the ghostly Vanka to 
the sorcerer's home." 

" Is that the epileptic boy whom Tatiana 
visits ? " 

The gipsy woman stared at me strangely. 

" It is one of the fiends of the sorcerer ; others 
will come." 

I looked at the woman, who was still peering out 
of the window. With a scream of terror she 
sprang back, and right before me, a few inches 
only from my face, was a horrible purple visage, 
bloated, distorted, half human, half bestial, only its 
bleared eyes, blinking in at the strongly-lighted 
room, betokened its earthly nature. 

I turned quickly away. The gipsy woman, 
loudly yelling, had rushed from the apartment, 
and in her hurry had overturned the lamp, which 
now lay extinguished upon the floor. 

When next I looked towards the window the 
face — too horrible for any mask — was no longer 
visible. The hall was in darkness ; so, throwing 
open the door of the stove, the cheery rosy rays 
from the glowing embers enabled me to find my 
room and reach down my weapons. I lit my 
candle and cautiously entered the hall once more, 



130 THE SLEEPLESS MAN. 

for I thought I heard the noises of people about 
the house. 

In the semi-darkness I plainly discerned shadows 
moving swiftly towards the music-room — shadows 
not of men and women, but of strange creatures 
having a certain resemblance to the human form, 
but with horribly disorted features, crooked limbs, 
and necks askew. 

I stood still gazing earnestly at the shadows, 
then from out the gloom came a raggedly-clad 
woman with crone-like features and a crooked 
spine ; her hair, dark and glossy, grew thickly upon 
her forehead and temples, and was coiled round 
her large red ears. From the crown and the back 
of her head, and all down her withered neck, the 
hair had been scalded, and her parchment-like skin 
shone with iridescent hues. She held before her 
a boy of some eighteen years, lean, lank and long, 
whose horrible contortions she endeavoured in 
some way to guide, for over his muscleless limbs 
he seemed unable to exert any control, while he 
gazed idiotically in whatever direction his eyes 
were spasmodically rolled, and threw with jerky 
twitchings his ungainly limbs into meaningless and 
seemingly impossible attitudes. 






THE SLEEPLESS MAN. 131 

The crone, with some difficulty, got the youth 
in front of the stove, where she permitted him to 
lie, and where the unhappy being writhed and 
floundered restless and tormented. Then with 
uncertain steps she tottered towards me. 

I did not advance, and should have kept my 
gaze fixed upon her had not I felt a tug at my 
coat sleeve, and, turning round, saw standing at 
my elbow a monstrosity of frightful magnitude. 
Upon a short podgy body, bent with infirmities, 
was a head of enormous size, a bloated visage, 
bulbous, blue, and beardless — the lips awry and the 
mouth distorted — for instead of flesh and bone there 
was nothing but a rank growth of fungoid skin. 

Tearing myself away from the trembling hold 
he had upon my arm, I rushed across the hall and 
entered Nalivaete's room, closing and locking the 
door behind me. 

V. 

TATIANA. 

The room was empty. I sat upon the bed 
expecting an attack, for I knew that an attempt 
would be made to force open the door, and I heard 



132 THE SLEEPLESS MAN. 

the heavy tread of the peasants in the hall and the 
confused babble of voices — amongst them I thought 
I could distinguish that of the gipsy woman. 

Suddenly a grating noise in the room attracted 
my attention, and turning towards the.corner from 
which it seemed to proceed I saw Nalivaete staring 
at me, through a trap-door in the floor. 

He beckoned to me and signed me that I was 
not to speak. I saw as I approached the trap-door 
that he stood upon the steps of a rude ladder; he 
descended into the cellar and beckoned to me to 
follow him. I stood in the darkness upon the 
earthen floor of \\\\?> pogrib, and he secured the trap- 
door with strong wooden bars from below. 

As I became used to the darkness I noticed a 
large chest, a common bench, and a huge covered 
vat almost level with the floor. 

" Fetch Tatiana. Tell her that her father wants 
her help now. We must escape." 

" The house is surrounded by enraged peasants ; 
strange people are in the rooms ; it is not easy to 
escape." 

He pointed to a door in the cellar. " I have 
thought of all this. Irma must escape, why not 
you .'* She has my fleetest horse ready harnessed 






THE SLEEPLESS MAN. 133 

to the sledge ; take it, drive to Vorebba, bring 
back Tatiana quickly." 

" But to get the sledge ? " 

He smiled grimly, and drew from under the 
bench a large hooded shoob lined with white lambs- 
wool and made of pale cloth. " My wife's ! " He 
unfolded it slowly and placed it on my shoulders. 
" She lies here," and he placed his hand upon the 
vat. " They think she walks around the house in 
this shoob, my last present to her ; no one will dare 
to touch you," 

I fastened the garment across my chest, and 
pulled the hood over my head, it barely reached 
to my knees ; a pair of light-coloured valetikis 
were taken from a corner, and after putting them 
on I moved to the door, 

" See those eyes, they arc watching me still," 
and he pointed to a corner near the extremity of 
the vat. 

" I see nothing," I answered. 

" Not so loud ; I see them, but I fear nothing." 

I drew the bolt of the door and opened it 
quietly. I saw the eyes then, gleaming out of the 
darkness, and dimly outlined was the form of the 
mysterious man I had seen so frequently that da}-. 

K 



134 THE SLEEPLESS MAN: 

Nalivaete shrieked, pushed me forward, and closed 
and bolted the door behind me. 

The figure of the man retreated along the 
passage, and groping my way, I followed it. 

The passage was a short one ; at the extremity 
was a door hinged horizontally and opening 
inwards. The figure opened the door and dis- 
appeared ; as quickly as possible I followed, and 
found myself in a retired corner of the pleasure 
ground at the rear of the stables. 

I walked round to the yard. Forms flit be- 
fore me as I advance, none approach. In the 
yard was the black horse with the sledge, the 
moiijik who stood at the horse's head ran as I 
walked towards him, the horse perceiving me 
reared — seizing the reins, I sprang upon the sledge 
and drove rapidly from the yard. 

The horse was fresh and travelled fast, and we 
soon reached the woods. I drew my revolver and 
fired a shot, then two others in quick succession. 
The horse, terrified, increased his pace, and the 
snow spray flew from before the runners like sea- 
foam from the prow of a racing yacht. The horse 
knew that an efi'ort was expected of him, and 
continued his wild pace across the moorland and 



* 



THE SLEEPLESS MAN. 135 

through the forest ; a wolf, trotting along the track, 
at our approach hastened into the wood, and an 
elk gazed with astonishment from the brushwood 
on the edge of a clearing. 

In time we reached a village ; it was apparently 
deserted. At the further end, however, was a 
sledge with a horse harnessed thereto, but empty. 
The horse was steaming and had evidently been 
driven hard ; the ycmstdiik was standing midway 
between his sledge and the entrance to the 
house. 

As I drove up, the door of the house opened 
and Tatiana ran out. 

" What is the meaning of this } " she asked 
angrily. " Why am I brought here .-* Speak, will 
you ? Fool ! " 

The man made no reply, and Tatiana going to 
the sledge, seized the driver's whip and with it 
commenced to beat the fellow, who bent to escape 
the blows, but remained idiotically silent. A 
peasant had followed her from the house with 
a lantern and looked unconcernedly upon the scene, 
until perceiving my approach he cried out, and 
dropping his lantern ran towards the house. 

Tatiana came to me. I spoke to her, and 



136 THE SLEEPLESS MAN. 

muttering words I could not hear, she sh'pped into 
the sledge and I at once turned the horse towards 
home. 

" It is a catch, a mean, miserable, foolish trick," 
she sobbed. " What does it mean .? " 

I did not answer, but urged on the horse, which 
seemed unwilling to race homewards. 

We were clear of the village and trotting slowly 
through the forest when she spoke again. 

" Where did you leave my father .-' " she asked. 

" In the cellar beneath his room," I replied. 

She started. Then putting her hand upon my 
arm she looked beseechingly into my face. 

" Then you know " 

" I do not know, but I can guess," I answered. 

The horse ran uneasily, turning first to the right 
and then to the left, walking at every turn in the 
road, and at last he came to a standstill and 
buried his nose in a snow-drift at the side of the 
track. 

"Poor father, I must save him, but how.-* Hurry 
the horse along." 

She spoke to him, and the animal moved more 
gaily. 

"Will you help me.'' Must my poor father 






THE SLEEPLESS MAN. 137 

perish body and soul ? Is he not mad ? He was 
mad when he committed that terrible crime, and 
did he not tell you that my brother saw him — my 
poor half-witted brother ? He has never spoken 
since that time. He will not live with us, but 
haunts us unceasingly — watches us, follows us to 
Moscow, St. Petersburg, to Odessa, speaks to no 
one, looks only at us ! It is as though he had 
taken a vow never to speak again until my father 
has expiated his crime. And I try to save my 
father. Am I right in so attempting? I ask myself 
again and again ! He loves me because I try so 
hard to save him. To save him from that prison, 
where, living with senseless souls he would lose his 
own; to save him by imploring him to confess and 
to seek forgiveness of our Holy Mother. He has 
committed a crime and must bear the punishment 
— that he knows, that we know — but is it not right 
that he should bear the punishment inflicted by 
God who is just and merciful, rather than that of 
men who would wreck his life and lose his soul .'' 
But what an expiation his is, and how bravely 
and uncomplainingly he endures ! He promised 
me only yesterday that he would confess to the 
good priest in Lieschneva, and then he would be 



13S THE SLEEPLESS MAN. 

content to die. He bears so much for my sake, 
thinking that if he gave himself up to the police, 
as, weary of his terrible lot he has often wished to 
do, his punishment would have to be borne by me, 
'Who,' he asks, 'would wed the daughter of a 
condemned murderer?' 

" And you see the wretched life we lead," she 
continued sadly. "I cannot sing, but in order that 
my father's infirmities may not be too closely pried 
into, I have practised, and by loudly shrieking 
I have driven curious neighbours from our doors. 
Soon all must come right, is it not so .'' " 

" I pray that it may," I answered. 

" Yes, if father could but know that he is for- 
given by God ! To feel, to bear the punishment is 
nothing to the callous prison-hardened criminal 
working out his sentence. You cannot know what 
a soul-destroying hell is a Russian prison, and how 
happy are the evil-doers to work therein and stifle 
conscience." 

She paused. We were now reaching her home 
and we saw there were several groups of people 
near it ; some carried torches, others had large 
bundles on their shoulders. 

I drove over the fields, round to the back of the 



0. 

• 



THE SLEEPLESS MAN. 139 

stables, and leaving the sledge, by leaning against 
the fence of the pleasure-ground forced an 
entrance. 

There were a few peasants grouped on this side 
of the house, and they moved about unceasingly. 
I helped Tatiana from the sledge, and we walked 
stealthily towards the secret doorway. 

The windows shone with a lurid glare, and 
strange shadows moved about in the room. 

" They have fired the house," shrieked Tatiana, 
rushing wildly towards it. 

" Tatiana ! Tatiana ! Save me ! " 

" I come ! " cried Tatiana. 

Some of the peasants put out their hands to 
bar the wa}', but she eluded them and throwing 
herself against the hidden door it gave way and 
she disappeared from sight 

" Anglichannin ! " yelled the gipsy woman, recog- 
nising me. Then instantly moiijtks seized my 
arms, and cutting the reins from our sledge, bound 
my hands tightly to my side and my feet together. 

Tongues of fire were creeping round the 
windows and eaves, and the peasants who had 
torches threw them into the house through the 
broken windows. 



140 THE SLEEPLESS MAN. 

Then the gipsy woman went to the passage 
through which Tatiana had disappeared, and at 
her command dry brushwood and faggots were 
placed in the doorway, the straw from our sledge 
was carried to it and fired ; then the peasants 
brought more faggots and piled them against 
those which were burning. The flames had now 
burst through the roof in several places, and 
issued freely at the windows and doorways ; the 
dry wood crackled as it burnt, and the sparks 
flew high into the air, and were followed by the 
broad streaming flames and the long sinuous 
tongues of fire. We heard cries, but the words 
were undistinguishable. We knew the prisoners 
were trying to force their way through the passage, 
for we saw the faggots near the little doorway 
shaken and forced outwards. It seemed possible 
that success would follow one effort, for the 
bundles of wood fell away suddenly, but the 
gipsy woman took a long fork from a peasant 
and pushed the half-burnt faggots further into 
the doorway, holding it there resolutely until 
fresh fuel had been heaped around it — then as 
the heat became unbearable she reluctantly fell 
back. 



THE SLEEPLESS MAN. 141 

The crackling of the blazing shingle, the noise 
of the burning timber, the bursting of the thick 
pine logs placed against the walls, and the 
constant roar of the quickly advancing fire, 
deadened the cries of the perishing inmates ; but 
all could not drown a shriek that commenced 
with the supplicants' cry of " Forgive ! " and 
ended in a weird yell of agony. It stopped the 
wild talking of the excited peasants, and in 
silence they watched the falling beams and walls 
or slunk quietly and abashed to their village 
homes. In an hour's time all that remained as 
evidence of the tragedy was a heap of smouldering 
timber, and a few creatures on their knees in the 
snow, crossing themselves constantly, and praying 
without ceasing. 



Uncle Sekuyn. 



AFTER a long day of dull tramping in the 
swaaliy London streets the poorest home is 
welcome. That murky November evening I was 
particularly tired. Saturated with mud and slush, 
I was anxious to reach my poor lodgmg, where, if 
there were not other clothes, I could be rid of my 
wet, clinging, frayed, and splashed garments — at 
least for a time, 

I was terribly down on m)' luck, but the result 
of my tramp was promising for a dinner on the 
morrow, and I had enough to provide a good 
supper; for, like all men who eat to live, I had 
determined upon such substantial fare as can be 
most cheaply purchased. 

I climbed to my garret for the mug and platter, 
and found Uncle Selwyn seated upon my old sea 
chest ; recognised him by his whisky-laden breath, 
which dispelled my vision of the grateful and 
Comforting cup and hot-steaming "savoury duck." 



» 



UNCLE SELIVVN. 143 

My relative was the ne'er-do-wcU of the family, 
and rarely visited me save to extort a loan or 
share my meal. 

"What cheer, Sclwyn?" I asked. 

" Bad news, Willy," he replied gently, and as he 
was generally boisterous his subdued tone afifected 
me strangely, and I crossed the room for a light 
so that I might see in what he had changed. 

To all appearance he was the same — tall, well- 
built and wiry, somewhat emaciated, and looking 
five years older than his age. He had grey 
whiskers and hair, although he was but forty ; he 
was wretchedly clad as usual with him, for he 
despised clothes ; a battered old bowler hat upon 
his shaggy head ; his moustache was awry and his 
chin had been shaved, perhaps a week ago. 

His cheek bones were prominent, his cheeks 
red, and his deep, sunken blue eyes were as bright 
and restless as ever ; but there was something 
more about my uncle, and to discover what it was 
I regarded him earnestly. 

He remained seated upon the chest without 
speaking until I had finished my scrutiny. I was 
doubtful as to this man being really my uncle, for 
as sometimes when you look into the eyes of a 



144 UNCLE SELWYN. 

friend you sec his soul looking back at you, so 
now I saw in the dark pupils of my uncle's blue 
eyes an individuality that was strangely at 
variance with his character, and I was afraid of 
it. For my brusque-mannered, sottish, but withal 
kind Uncle Selwyn I never had the slightest fear. 

" I suppose it is you, Selwyn ?" 

" Have I changed so much ? What money have 
you got ?" 

" Eightpence." 

" Four drinks. Willy, my bo}', don't spend that 
money in liquor, however much I may plead or 
threaten. Now come with me, you are late. We 
may be too late." 

He got up nervously from his scat, raised his 
hat and put it more jauntily upon his head, and 
tottered towards the door. I felt impelled to 
follow him, just as whenever he asked a loan I 
never withheld it, and we slowly descended the 
broken stairs. 

"Where are you going.''" I asked, when we 
reached the street. 

" Over the water. Let us hurry along." 

We walked along in silence, threading our way 
across the busy thoroughfares, and plunging into 






UNCLE SELU'YN. 145 

the narrower streets and passages which run 
parallel with them. It was ten o'clock when we 
reached the Thames, and my uncle declared it was 
too early to cross. 

" Let us take a drink. You have eightpcnce, 
and fourpence will be enough for what you have 
to buy." 

" I only brought fourpence. I could not afford 
to bring all." 

The lie satisfied him. We went to the Embank- 
ment and sat down. 

" Why have you brought me here .-' " I asked. 

He looked at me curiously. " I want your help 
— your eightpence," and he laughed nervously. 

" Will you take it then, and let me return 
home > " 

He seemed hurt at the suggestion. " I will 
never touch money again, never again," he replied 
snappishly. 

" What is the matter with you, Selwyn } " 

He was silent for several minutes, and then 
commenced to talk about the objects on the 
river ; of his college days at Oxford, and in garru- 
lous fashion recounted his freaks and escapades of 
ten years ago ; to all I listened patiently, ex- 



146 UNCLE SELU'YN. 

pccting each moment to learn the reason for his 
call ; Uncle Selwyn was not the man to make 
a friendly visit. 

The Embankment was deserted, for fine rain had 
commenced to fall. It was nearly midnight. 

" About Thora, Thora ! " he said abruptly, and 
turned upon the seat so as to face me. " I can 
never be rid of that woman, the more badly I 
treat her the closer she sticks to mc." 

" Where is she now .'' " 

He started. Passing his hand over his brow 
he commenced to speak gently and in a con- 
fidential manner of his relations with Thora. 
" And the last thing was, eight days ago," he 
hesitated, " she was ill and could not get from 
our room, so she gave me her dress to pawn 
that we might have something to eat, and she 
has not been out of that room since." 

I laughed. 

" Yes, an excellent joke, isn't it } Could never 
get rid of the woman, you know. Good oppor- 
tunity, thought I, of keeping you indoors now, 
my lady, and so " he stopped abruptly. 

" There is no one here. Continue." 

" So I came round for you to go home with me." 



0. 



UNCLE SELWYN. 147 

I started up. " How long is it since you saw 
her ? " I gasped. 

" I don't know, I never went back. Pawned 
the rags and spent the money in drinks and a 
shave, must have a face like a gentleman. But 
she asked so earnestly that I would buy food 
that I promised her not to spend the money 
in drink, she made me swear not to, smiled," 
he shuddered, " thanked me, and said, ' I trust 
you, Selwyn, I will watch for you.' She expected 
me back soon, I led her to suppose that I should 
not be many minutes, and," he felt his chin 
musingly, " I suppose that is some days ago." 

" I am going now," and I sprang to my feet. 

" Where } You do not know where I live, and 
I am sure I shall not tell you. When the clock 
has struck twelve I will conduct you." 

I expostulated, but all remonstrance was vain, 
and seating myself by his side I waited anxiously 
for the stroke of twelve. It came at last, but 
Uncle Selwyn declared it had struck but eleven. 
In desperation I dragged him towards the bridge. 
Seeing that it was practically deserted he dashed 
across with such speed that it was with difficulty 
I kept pace with him. We went through dirty 



uS UNCLE SELWYN. 

and desolate streets, he sometimes running wildly 
ahead or hesitatingly creeping with uncertain 
steps along the dark streets. 

We entered an ill -lighted alley, silent, and 
apparently deserted ; it was flanked by lofty 
buildings, of which the greater number were 
untenanted. Something was following us, and I 
looked behind repeatedly, without catching a sight 
of the person whose persistent tread had attracted 
my attention. 

Uncle Selwyn was frightened, he clutched at 
my arm convulsively, and started violently at the 
commonest sounds. We turned into a deserted 
court, the houses were dilapidated and old ; tiles 
and broken earthenware lay about the yard, and 
subdued noises from the dismantled tenements 
disturbed the silence of the night. We heard 
still those steps following ours, slowly crunching 
the earthy floor of the unpaved yard. I paused, 
the sounds ceased ; it could but be the echo of 
our own steps. I led on again more slowly. 
A figure brushed past us and entered one of 
the dwellings ; a dark, almost shapeless pillar-like 
form, ill-defined in the semi-darkness of the night, 
but distinguishable as something. It seemed to 



UNCLE SELWYN. 149 

glide along and make no noise in treading over 
the debris covered corner of the yard. 

"Which way?" I asked of Sehvyn. 

"Follow thatl' he stammered, again clutching 
my arm. I did not wonder that he feared to 
return alone. I paused and looked up at the 
windows of the building we were to enter ; they 
were all paneless, the frames of some had gone, 
in a couple there still remained a few fragments 
of broken glass, but no attempt had been made 
to fill up the openings with paper or rags. I saw 
as each landing was reached that a black form 
passed noiselessly across the window openings — 
it reached the topmost, a dark mass protruded, 
remained clearly visible for a few seconds, then 
disappeared. Through the next window we now 
saw a face peering — the figure was motionless, 
and it seemed to be staring fixedly down upon 
us in the yard. I looked at Uncle Sclwyn ; the 
darkness of that corner of the court was so great 
that I could not distinguish his features, but the 
light was reflected from his deep sunken eyes, and 
I saw that he was watching me. 

" Lead the way, Selwyn ! " 

"I dare not!" 

L 



150 UNCLE SELWYN. 

" Thora is up there ! " 

"Who?" 

" Thora." 

"And what else? The figure of death passes 
us by ; let us go away." 

" Come," and I groped forward in the darkness. 
The stairs were broken, and as we trod upon them 
the noise of our footsteps reverberated through 
the house ; at the second flight I tripped and 
fell, and a hundred echoes were awakened in the 
empty tenements, and answered each other from 
all sides of the courtyard. 

Slowly we made our way to the topmost storey. 
The doors appeared to be nailed up, as were those 
of the floors below. Sehvyn directed me to a 
back passage, upon which there was a small door 
leading to the rooms on our left. 

I entered it, followed closely by Selwyn. It 
was apparently quite empty. I called to "Thora." 
There was no reply save the hollow-sounding 
echoes from the various rooms. " In the next 
garret," muttered Selwyn, pushing me towards a 
low doorway covered by an old piece of sacking. 
I tried to strike a match, but the walls and floor 
were so damp that I could not obtain a light. 



r„ 



UNCLE SELWYN. 151 

We entered the other room. There was a figure 
at the window, the black something was near it; 
instinctively I drew back, and Sclwyn pulling 
wildly at my arm forced me through the door- 
way. 

"Did you see it?" 

" Thora must be dead," I said vacantly. 

" Yes ; but that thing, what was it } What does 
it want here .?" His grasp tightened upon my arm, 
and his face was but a few inches from mine. 
"See, it is coming this way!" and he pointed to 
the doorway, where the sacking was still shaking. 
It seemed to lift slightly, and the dark presence 
was in our room, between us and the door. 
Sehvyn, in abject fear, was crouching between 
me and the wall, and we heard distinctly groans 
and the tramping of feet in the room adjoining. 

I lifted Selwyn to his feet, and attempted to 
drag him towards the door. He released himself 
from my grasp, and running to the window 
attempted to leap through. I was able to prevent 
him, and he became more calm. I succeeded in 
getting a match to light, and we again raised the 
sacking. The dark figure was again by the side 
of the corpse, but disappeared at my approach. 



' ,' 



IS2 UNCLE SELWYN. 

" Thora is dead," I called to Selwyn. He made 
no reply, but held the lighted match mechanically 
on high. 

The room was entirely destitute of furniture, 
and contained not even a bundle of rags or straw 
to serve as a bed. On the walls were scrawled 
a few undecipherable characters, which the damp 
had partly obliterated. 

I gave the lights to Selwyn, and moved the 
body from the window. The figure was terribly 
emaciated, and had been dead some days. As I 
placed it upon the floor I saw strange marks upon 
the naked breast. Selwyn recognised them and 
cried for mercy. He dropped upon his knees and 
raised his hands in supplication. The burning 
match flickered for a moment upon the floor, then 
left us in darkness, and the presence was with us 
again. Selwyn shuddered; he did not attempt to 
move from his knees. The figure advanced, and 
he fell prone upon his face, and when I had again 
succeeded in obtaining a light I found that he too 
was dead. 






A Good Intention. 

IN ethics, as in most things, Horace Vesey was 
original ; his ideas of right and wrong would 
not, I fear, be accepted by members of the Ethical 
Society, but then, as he said, he was ahead of 
most people. One day, after endeavouring to prove 
to me that a good intention is not a good intention 
when it is a paving-block in a certain road no one 
will willingly tread, he told me the story of a half- 
finished pen-and-ink sketch I had often examined 
with curiosity. It was a rough outline of a small 
factory, possessing numerous windows and far too 
many very tall chimneys, all smoking as though 
nuisance inspectors had never been appointed. 
From the manner in which the factory dwarfed 
those adjacent to it, to say nothing of churches 
and huge edifices in the neighbourhood, it had 
evidently been sketched in accordance with the 
views its occupier held of its importance. Why 
such a trumpery production was so highly esteemed 
by Vesey I had never dared to ask. 



154 A GOOD INTENTION. 

"About seven years ago," he commenced, " I 
went to the Kyrvvick assizes to report for the 
Herald, and Mr. Justice Sterndale was judge. No, 
it was not the occasion, but prior to that, and it 
is, perhaps, because it was the same judge whose 
ineptitude wrecked my happiness, and the close 
association of place and scene with that of ;«j life 
story, that I have never broached the subject 1 am 
about to relate, although this story is of itself sad 
enough to keep. 

" Everyone knows that if law is Sterndale's forte, 
justice is his foible, and however lenient he may be 
towards the perpetrators of physical outrage, he is 
inexorably Draconian whenever the offence is one 
against morals. It is, of course, the old vice of 
'compounding sins he is inclined to by damning 
those he has no mind to.' Hugo Speedy was the 
counsel in charge of the county prosecutions, and 
the list was cleared in his best manner ; in fact cases 
were running almost as rapidly as before a stipen- 
diary magistrate at a police court. A scoundrel who 
had done his paramour to death, and half-killed the 
policeman who arrested him, had been found guilty 
of manslaughter, and allotted twelve months ; 
then three fellows were put in the dock charged 






A GOOD INTENTION. 155 

with dealing in prohibited literature and photo- 
graphs. The two brothers who dealt in the rubbish 
pleaded guilty, and urged nothing in extenuation ; 
the third was a cousin, who had coloured some of 
the prints at eighteen pence a dozen, and had been 
brought from some other part of the country ; he 
pleaded ignorance of the fact that the pictures 
were to be offered for sale, and stated that he and 
his wife and child were starving, and he had to 
take whatever work he could. This was the oppor- 
tunity Stcrndale needed to prove that the bench 
was the bulwark of morality. He was, of course, 
actuated by the highest motives, his intentions were 
good. So he gave a short lecture on the enormity 
of the offence, pointed out the sinful purposes to 
which art could be applied, the wickedness of this 
debased artist in prostituting his talent in order to 
make these abominable prints more attractive, and 
thus his crime was of greater magnitude than that 
of the others ; for without his gaudy work upon 
them it was doubtful whether there would have 
been purchasers. Then he unloosed all the stock 
phrases he keeps for grand occasions, and the poor 
artist in his threadbare coat drew himself up 
proudly, and looked back at the judge as a man of 



156 A GOOD INTENTION. 

genius stares at a jack-in-office who attempts to 
coerce him. The soul of the artist was the soul 
of a man who repudiated the exaggerated notions 
of the judge, a judge whose speck of humanity 
was obscured by his intemperate indignation. 

" Sterndale docs not go express speed for 
nothing ; the objects of his wrath got two years' 
imprisonment each, and the artist a fine of a 
hundred pounds in addition, and was ordered to 
be kept in prison until the fine was pai^. 

" I got the sentence down mechanically, wonder- 
ing that such a barbarous punishment should be 
possible ; but if Sterndale imposed it, who would 
have the temerity to question its validity.^ 

"There was a sob heard in court; it came from 
the artist's wife. I think I can see her now ; you 
know the sort of woman a big, burly, black-bearded, 
callaesthetician would love. A pretty little woman: 
her features so regular that the face was almost 
characterless in its beauty ; fair hair in sunny 
ripples, blue eyes, clear complexion, and a neck 
Praxiteles would have delighted to cop)'. A frail, 
delicate creature withal, and dressed in a poor 
black gown which everyone could see had again 
and again been altered to the fashion ; and she 



6. 



A GOOD INTENTION. 157 

clasped to her arms a four-year-old boy, the noblest- 
looking and finest-built child I ever saw. Poor 
lad, he only half understood ; there were tears on 
his cheeks, yet a smile played about his lips, and 
he clung timorously to his mother, yet looked 
defiantly at us. A brave little fellow! He expected 
to be danced on his father's knee that night ; that 
father who could do no wrong, but — who had done 
what no one on this side of the Channel can attempt 
with impunity. So a family's happiness was sacri- 
ficed to British morality, and a British judge was 
appeased. 

"We were, of course, too busy to trouble more 
then. Judge and counsel went ahead like clock- 
work. We had a gang of swindlers next, with forty 
witnesses to boot, and morality went dungeonwards. 

" That night, as I thought the matter over, the 
pitch to which we had brought jurisprudence did 
not appear to me to be a high one. Scoundrels 
with money, who could buy eloquence to plead for 
them, who could purchase brains and experience to 
present their misdoings in the most favourable 
aspect, and actually adduce testimony to their 
good behaviour, appeared in court to be magni- 
ficently virtuous in comparison with the poor artist 



158 A GOOD INTENTION. 

and his wretched mates. Moreover, to turn sav- 
agely upon the man who had not the necessary 
guinea with which to purchase a dock defence, 
then to fine that man a sum impossible to pay, 
and keep him until it was paid where he could 
never earn it, was an un-English course which 
angered me. I determined at the first opportunity 
to investigate the case; perhaps with a view to 
' copy,' for I was very keen in those days. 

" In time I found where the man had worked. 
He shared a shop with an engraver, and I purchased 
that drawing— unfinished, as he left it when arrested. 
The little I gave for it the engraver sent on to the 
wife ; then — I forgot all about them for a time. 

"About eighteen months after those Kyrwick 
assizes I went down into the Potteries to write up 
the lead-poisoning topic. There I met the artist's 
wife — a wreck. The poor creature had been 
tempted by the high wages ; it was the only 
employment at which she could earn enough to 
put anything by for payment of the fine ; she 
worked too hard, too long, and denied herself the 
necessaries of life ; she had saved over thirty 
pounds, and she was poisoned through and through. 
I can hardly describe her — a withered, toothless, 







A GOOD INTENTION. 159 

ill-shapen creature, with bleared eyes, her face 
terribly disfigured with crimson patches, lips blue, 
hair gone, and the finely-shaped hands stained, 
twisted, and swollen. I asked after her husband. 
He was still in prison ; the last two visiting-days 
she had not been. ' I would rather he remembered 
me as I was,' she sobbed. She knew then that 
she would never see him again; but she still hoped, 
by sacrificing her life, to earn enough to buy his 
release. The boy was in the hospital ; he had 
never thriven in the neighbourhood in which they 
had come to live, and the doctors feared he had a 
diseased bone. The poor woman furnished all the 
particulars I required, and I wrote that article as I 
never wrote but one other. She knew she was to 
have the payment, and I was pleased the cheque 
was for a substantial amount. I meant to visit 
the boy, but I did not. My trouble came — the 
murder, the trial, and its consequences. In the 
midst of all some one wrote asking me for pity 
sake to buy a portrait. I sent the few guineas 
asked, but did not open the package when it came, 
nor trouble to read the note of thanks which 
accompanied it. When I did it was to learn that 
the wretched woman was too far poisoned to be 



i6o A GOOD INTENTION. 

employed further, and lived upon her little hoard 
until death ended her suffering. 

" Some years passed. I changed ; money more 
than I could use was mine, but the child had 
disappeared. I was informed, how you would not 
understand, that Mr. Justice Sterndale was being 
troubled ; on the bench even he appeared pre- 
occupied ; some one had been known to laugh at 
him. I tried hard not to notice the information ; 
it was too persistent. Then a man consulted me 
about the treatment of some hypothetical case. I 
am pleased it remained hypothetical. It concerned 
a man of the highest probity, justly esteemed, an 
excellent liver, and good Christian, who was 
haunted by faces, horrible faces, but one face 
which was particularly persistent he seemed to 
remember, not an ugly face, rather a good-looking 
one, with dark hair, a bright eye, a noble expression, 
but with this there appeared always a number of 
highly-coloured pictures which no right-minded 
person would describe. It was a terrible haunting. 
This man of the greatest probity felt that he could 
not much longer discharge the duties of his high 
position unless these distracting illusions were 
stayed. 



• 



A GOOD INTENTION. i6i 

" No one suspected that the person, who was 
represented to me as being, if not a Lord Spiritual, 
some one of equal position, was subject to any 
hallucination, and notwithstanding the eminent 
position he had attained by reason of his great 
ability, no one had ever dared to breathe a word 
of slander about him. His reputation was like 
that of Caesar's wife, whilst his suffering was 
greater than that of St. Francis. 

" Now the explanation of all this is, that in 
sentencing the artist to imprisonment beyond 
hope of release, Mr. Justice Sterndale had 
committed an error ; for the artist had nothing to 
do but to brood over his lot. His thoughts were 
of the injustice of his sentence, of the man who 
had imposed it, and the actions of his own which 
had led up to the conviction. As time went on 
and the thoughts remained, or rather grew every 
time they were recalled to mind — and they were 
rarely absent — more particularly after the death of 
the prisoner's wife — and as they increased in 
intensity, they became so real as to be perceptible 
to others than the thinker who originated them. 
Now brain-pictures or thought-photographs of 
this description fall upon and drop away from the 



i62 A GOOD INTENTION. 

properly constituted medium, just as rain drops 
from a duck's back. But Stcrndale was an 
improperly constituted medium. Instead of the 
ingress to his conscious self being obtained by 
way of a will-controlled psychic valve, the im- 
pressions reached him owing to a lesion in his 
psychic structure. And such a lesion results from 
an ungovernable temper, or senile decay, or a 
combination of the two, and then the receiver of 
the impressions is as unable to stop or regulate 
their flow, as a Swiss guide to stop an avalanche 
some other guide has started on the peak above 
him. Sterndale was doomed, and I knew it. 

" One day, whilst walking through a drizzling 
rain, I saw on the pavement a face which, smudged, 
smeared, and half washed away though it was, I 
at once recognised. Only one person could have 
limned it ; I knew the artist had been released. I 
looked for the 'screever,' but he had left his 
pavement pictures and was nowhere to be found. 
Some weeks after I overtook him in Bayswater; 
he stooped as he shambled along, and a little 
fellow limped by his side. At first he resented 
my enquiries, but we soon got upon good terms ; 
he was half silly, and his hatred of Stcrndale was 






A GOOD INTENTION. 163 

the only thing which kept him alive. He told 
me how he had tramped all the way to London, 
and had hung about the Law Courts for weeks, in 
order to show his boy 'the man who had killed 
his mother,' but he had no idea of taking any 
active revenge. I gave him the portrait of his 
wife, and tried to persuade him to other courses, 
but the cruelty of his fate had eaten too far into 
his nature to be eradicated, until the fierceness of 
his hate is in some measure appeased by 
Sterndale's death. I have tried to do something 
for the boy, but his father will not permit it ; poor 
little fellow, his fate too is sealed ; his right leg, I 
noticed, was fully four inches shorter than his left, 
his spine is crooked, the joints of his fingers and 
wrists are permanently enlarged, his face is wizened, 
his look cruel ; not in the least does he resemble 
the pretty little fellow whom I remember to have 
seen in the Assize Court ; truly a great injustice 
has been done to him. The fate of Sterndale is 
worse; the proud, strong man is the prey to the 
worst fears, his dread of death he hides, and the 
secret of his hauntings is not known to any but his 
confidential advisers, who are not likely to betray 
him ; but rather far endure the misery of the cripple 



1 64 A GOOD INTENTION. 

boy than experience the torture of the death- 
affrighted Sterndale. Nothing in this great city is 
more painful than to see this poor artist and his 
crippled son painfully making their way through its 
crowded streets, impelled and guided by a force 
they know not, to be where Sterndale can see 
them. I have found out that the last time the 
judge went circuit the artist went too, tramping 
from town to town, and unconsciously appearing 
just when and where Sterndale least expected 
him ; but the tension is becoming too great, it 
cannot continue much longer." 

And it did not ; the figures of the wretched 
artist and his ruined son had barely become 
familiar to mc, when, a few weeks after I called on 
Vesey, I saw a miserably clad, unkempt fellow 
shivering on the doorstep, but on this man's face 
there was a look I envied. 

" He won't see anyone," he vouchsafed as I 
approached, " not any one. Cos for why } See 
there!" and he pointed to a contents bill carried 
by a newsboy, and I knew that before many hours 
should pass columns of type would be prepared 
for the paeans in praise of the man they hated and 
in whose death they gloried. 



• 



A New Force, 



PETER ROBERTSON, by vocation a pro- 
fessional inventor, I have known for some 
years ; he is a natural genius, one of that rare class 
who can create. This, to me, appears the most god- 
like of faculties, and its possessor nearer akin to 
the intelligent cosmos than to common humanity. 
Peter's father was a farm hand in the North- 
Country, an ordinary common-place lout, worth 
his fifteen shillings a week, but not altogether a 
success when promoted to the position of " hind," 
with eighteen shillings as his remuneration ; his 
mother a fine, braw, north-country woman, with a 
lust for work and great capacity for keeping a 
family of thirteen comfortably clothed, housed, and 
fed at a total cost of a shilling a head per week. 
With the exception of Peter the progen>' was 
mediocre; his brothers and sisters are where he left 
them forty years ago ; shepherding, farming and 
the like, the smartest foys a coble on the Tyne. 

M 



1 66 A NEW FORCE. 

Peter commenced work as a rivet-catcher at the 
age of twelve, afterwards became a boiler-maker at 
Jarrow, where by sheer hard work he got enough 
money to buy for himself such books and learning 
as a marine engineer needs ; he went to sea as a 
donkey-man, and during the long watches studied 
algebra and geometry in the intcr\'als of engine 
tending. Then he took to inventing; came to 
London ; worked in a cellar in Soho ; brought out 
all sorts of new things from boot tingjes to armour 
plate. The patent laws and the company pro- 
moter swallowed up all Peter's takings, took too 
his few savings, and at fifty he had to face starva- 
tion or go to sea ; preferring the latter he soon 
picked up again, and but for domestic troubles, 
which had always plagued him sorely, but held 
back their heaviest trial for his old age and weak- 
ness, he would have been fairly happy in the 
royalties from the minor inventions trade thieves 
left to him. 

He gave me a call one day, when evidently 
something unusually heavy was pressing upon him. 

"What's the matter.?" I asked. 

" I want t' consult ye, Mr. Vesey, aboot a matter 
that 's cau^ing me a vast o' thinking." 



t. 



A NEW FORCE. 167 

"Thinking only?" 

"Aye! joost that." 

" Patent jobbery ? " 

" Nae, it 's the thing itsel' that fashes me the 



noo." 



"Then I am afraid I cannot help you, Peter; 
the veriest fool can beat me hollow at mechanics 
and mathematics." 

" It 's nac a question o' mathematics nae book- 
learning, or I'd make no trouble on it; it's the 
thing itscl' that 's ayont me." 

" What is the mechanical problem then V 

"It's nae mechanical problem, it's a force o' 
Nature itsel' I am losing the grip on, man ! " 

" What ! you have discovered a new force .-' " 

"Joost that." 

" What is it .? " 

" I div 'na kna' ; I div 'na kna'." 

" Perpetual motion, perhaps .^ " 

" Man ! D'ye think I 'm mad .? " 

"You are far too clever, Peter; but what have 
you found .-• is it — something like electricity .'' " 

" Aye— to luke at." 

" Presumably you have discovered some re- 
condite property of matter ." 



1 68 A NEW FORCE. 

" See here noo, I 've na come here to liear talk 
the like I can get in Great Saint Geordie Street ; 
I've come because ye'r an honest man, Horace 
Vesey, and it 's yer help I want. D'ye mind me 
this time ?" 

" Quite seriously." 

"Ye kna Scott ha' written in one o' his poems 
anent the force that cleft Eildon Hills in three ." 

"The same that 'curbed the Tweed with a 
bridge of stone,' and if it is with respect to 
raising the old Tay Bridge, I am no engineer to 
decide as to the possibility of your scheme." 

" I said nout about bridges ; but the force that 
cleft Eildon Hills." 

" I 'm not an authority on explosives." 

" But ye ken the magic words ; at least I 'vc 
been told so." 

" I am not good at riddles, Peter. What is it 
you want .''" 

" As I told ye ; there 's joost a force o' Nature I 
was utilising for ordinary mechanical purposes, a 
practical motor, an' I 've lost the grip o' the thing; 
and it 's joost running me the noo." 

" Tell me all about it, Peter ; steer clear of 
mechanical terms." 



f- 



A NEW FORCE. 169 

" D'ye mind a time back o' the pneumatic 
motor ?" 

"You mean the dodge you had for running the 
water automatically through the surface condensers, 
instead of pumping it in and out of the ship?" 

" Nae I don't. I mean the wind-driven ketch in 
which I took ye to Putney." 

" I remember the trip ; can't say that I re- 
member the motor." 

" Well, when I went to sea again I was turning 
the idea over in my mind one night watch, when 
we were running from Kertch to the Bosphorus, 
and it came into my mind like, that if the reser- 
voir of the motor were all made solid, of one 
piece, without joint or seam, there 'd be no leakage 
from the vacuum." 

" You are getting too deep for me." 

" Haud thee gob, man ! Ye ken y'r mither 
tongue well enoo. Some time agone I got to 
work on the same tack, and I had to get a 
spherical hollow ball without any seam or flaw, 
and a perfect nat'ral vacuum inside — there's only 
one way o' getting that." 

*' I did not know there was one." 

" Y've no mind for mechanics. A weel ! For 



170 A NEW FORCE. 

the last hundred years they 've rolled hollow tubes 
from the solid bar, and had a perfect vacuum 
inside. I changed about the rolls till I got the 
perfect sphere. T'were hard work for me and my 
boy Tich, making the model out of iron, and it 
came to me that a bigger train o' rolls than we 
could ever afford would be wanted if we were 
to have a fair-sized sphere. So after a vast o' 
cogitating I fixed on the alloy we 'd use instead o' 
steel. D'ye know anything about sodium ?" 

" Only the chloride — common salt." ' 

" I mean the chemistry o' the metal }" 

" Nothing." 

*' It has very pecooliar properties ; it 's a sort as 
though the solid metal had the power o' absorbing 
a rare quantity o' other solids." 

" Like a sponge." 

"Aye, a sponge squeezed vera dry, and which 
instead o' swelling with the water it takes up, gets 
smaller." 

"Hm!" 

"Aye. It'll take aboot one-fourth its bulk o' 
liquid oxygen, and lose more'n half its size; so 
when you add 3 and i together the sum total is 
2 ; that 's a bit unnatural." 






A NEW FORCE. 171 

" Unusual ! " 

" Well, the long and short of it is this ; I get 
my sphere, made of what I think is aluminium 
alloy, I put the tube in without destroying the 
natural vacuum " 

"How?" 

" That 's only a question o' mechanics, and none 
so difficult — I fills the charger with — but that 'd 
be telling — anyway, I fills it, turns on the stop- 
cock, and the sphere contracts to about two-thirds 
its size." 

"Yes!" 

" Now, how did that come aboot ? " 

" Can't say." 

" Y' see there was nout in the sphere ; I turns on 
the tap to let the charge in, and straightaway the 
receiver collapses like a blowed-up 'rubber bag 
when the wind 's let out." 

" Instead of which something got in the receiver." 

" Joost gas." 

" I understand." 

" So do I now. Well, Tich and I set to, to find 
out the chemistry o' that stuff. For surprises, 
mechanics can't compare with chemistry." 

" I agree with you." 



172 yl NEW FORCE. 

" Man, the composition o' stuff's an awfu' 
mystery." 

" Matter is merely a form of energy." 

" May be. Well, we experimented until I got a 
stuff which grew just so much smaller and heavier 
as it swallowed up half its bulk and a fourth of its 
weight of another metal ; then, when agen a liquid, 
expanded ; so all y 'd to do was joost to pump in 
and off the liquid, and you had a solid mass of 
metal beating just like a living heart." 

" Very clever." 

" Eh, but it was what we wanted for the pneu- 
matic motor ! It was joost a bit uncanny from the 
first, this living lump o' metal. I cut it through 
with a sht saw, and it 's joost plain, solid, soft alloy, 
and it works like a charm. We fixed up the gear 
o' the hull of an old yawl, and with a bit o' a hand 
crank to work the pump, we ran up and down the 
river, slack or full, time and again." 

" Then if you have a really practical motor, 
Peter, I'm right glad of it." 

"Aye, but I 'ver nae doon. Man ! but I 'm sair 
perplexed o' th' matter." 

" What now 1 " 

" Aboot a week back I found the pump eccentric 






A NEW FORCE. 173 

had loosed from the crank shaft, and that Tich 
and I had been turning and grinding at novvt, for 
the pump could nae 'a worked for days." 

" What difference did that make ? " 

" Nae difference whatever ! When we wanted to 
go ahead the metal started off abeating and abeat- 
ing and away we went, and 'gen we wanted to 
stop, we stopped ; the metal's alive, man, and I'm 
most scared to death wi' it." 

I made as thorough examination of the metal 
and the motor mechanism as Peter would allow, 
and certainly, if the facts are not exactly as he 
related them, he has a boat which, without any 
discoverable cause, is driven ahead or astern at 
will ; and although, on his voyages up and down 
stream, he has always someone grinding away at a 
small crank, I, Horace Vesey, have been convinced 
that such is not necessary to the working of the 
Robertson motor. 



Mysterious Maisie. 



DEAR MR. VESEY,— It is very good of you 
to interest yourself in my behalf in our 
quest for " Mysterious Maisie " — so we have named 
the kind creature — and I lose no time in giving 
you not only all the facts concerning her visits, 
but many details of my sister's strange experiences. 
For the best of reasons I cannot add to the 
particulars now given ; you have the whole story, 
and nothing extraneous to it, save such slight 
embellishments as my sister herself has written 
in her letters and journal, and some explanatory 
comments by myself to references which would be 
unintelligible to a stranger. 

I will preface the story by stating that my sister 
Laura was seventeen when our father died ; in our 
straitened circumstances, and with mother's health 
failing, it was needful that she should at once earn 
her living. She was not fitted for teaching, and 
had she been so, I think my experiences as assistant 






MYSTERIOUS MAISIE. 175 

mistress of a High School were well enough known 
to her to act as an efficient repcllant from embark- 
ing upon a like career. She was accomplished, 
fond of literature, painted a little, played well, and 
was of such a kindly disposition that she seemed 
eminently fitted for the post of companion to an 
elderly or invalid lady, and we were glad to accept 
a situation of this kind for her. True it was 
obtained through an agency, but the references 
were quite satisfactory, and such enquiries as we 
could make brought replies which reassured us, 
and we were confident that Laura would quickly 
gain the affection of all with whom she came in 
contact. My sister at that time was very pretty ; 
she had a really beautiful face, but she was petite, 
very slight, very fragile ; a delicately nurtured 
child, but full of verve, and not wanting in courage. 
She was not unduly timorous, nor was she over 
imaginative, and so truthful in all she said, and 
honest in all she did, that I accept as actual fact 
every statement she has made, exaggerated though 
those accounts may appear, and extraordinary as 
they undoubtedly are. But to the story. My sister 
wrote in her journal, under the date of October 
22nd, 1889: 



176 MYSTERIOUS MAISIE. 

"Arrived safely at Willesden Junction at 
4.33; after waiting nearly half-an-hour, took the 

train to , reaching that station in less than 

twenty minutes; took a 'four-wheeler' to Miss 
Mure's. The streets had a very dingy appearance, 

is a dowdy suburb. Soon we turned down a 

winding lane, very badly fenced, not many houses 
in it, they were all old and were built on one side 
of the road ; plenty of trees, nearly all of them 
bare of leaves. The car stopped in a wider road 
just out of the lane ; the house lool<s old and 
badly kept from the outside ; it stands back about 
twelve yards from the road. The garden in front 
is very badly kept — I have not yet seen that at the 
back — it is walled in, with iron palisades on the top 
of the wall, and ivy and other creepers grow over 
the fence as well as over the house. The front 
gate is in an iron arch, and was locked. The 
maid, whose name is Agnes, was a long time 
answering our appeal ; then, when she saw who it 
was, she went back into the house for the key, so 
the cabman put my box on the footway, I paid 
him, and he drove away. I did not at all like the 
look of the house or the garden, and the cold flag- 
stones with which the walk from the gate to the 






MYSTERIOUS MAISIE. 177 

front door is paved are very ugly and cheerless. 
Agnes locked the gate again before we went into 
the house. In the little hall it was so dark I could 
not see anything, but when the door was shut, and 
we opened another leading to the stairs, I felt that 
the front door was lined with sheet iron. Every 
time I see such a door I think of the house in 
which Bill Sikcs made his last stand, but I do not 
want to frighten myself. My room is large ; it has 
a four-post bedstead with green rep hangings, a 
chest-upon-chest, an old closed press, and some 
old-fashioned chairs. The only lights are candles, 
the window is small, overgrown with a creeper 
from which the leaves are fast falling, and is barred 
with five iron bars and some ornamental scroll 
work. There are very curious prints on the wall, 
and some designs, which I cannot make out, on 
the ceiling. In the walls there are three doors, 
not counting the one in use ; one of those has 
no bolts, but is locked. I have placed my box 
against it. 

" I have not seen Miss Mure. Agnes tells me 
she does not wish to see me until to-morrow. I 
have had tea in the front room downstairs. It is a 
long, narrow room, with three tall and very narrow 



178 MYSTERIOUS MAISIE. 

windows looking into the front garden, and a 
smaller window at the side, by the fire-place, also 
looking out upon the garden. There is a door 
leading to the drawing-room, which is at the back 
of the house. The room seemed to be very dark, 
but perhaps that was due to the dismal light out 
of doors, and the thick growth of trees and shrubs 
in front. When the candles were lit — we have no 
gas nor lamps — I saw that the room had a papered 
ceiling, a dirty, cream-coloured ground, with an 
open floral design in blue. The walls are panelled 
half way, the upper half is covered with an orna- 
mental net reaching up to the cornice; at the back 
of the netting the wall is plastered over with 
canvas, which some time was painted stone colour. 
There are no pictures in the room. It is not 
home-like or cosy, and I do not admire the style; 
but I have never seen anything at all like it before, 
perhaps it will be better when I am accustomed to 
it ; at present there is an air of mystery about the 
house and its inmates. 

" Since I wrote the above I have had a talk with 
Agnes. I hope nothing she told me was true. She 
is a strange woman ; but she says she has been 
here over fourteen years, so I cannot think things are 



0- 



MYSTERIOUS MAISIE. 179 

so bad as she represents them to be. If her idea 
was to frighten me, she failed ; I do not believe 
her silly tales. At first I was amused at her talk, 
for she speaks the true cockney dialect, and with a 
peculiar inflexion, very different to the accent 
habitual to people of the Midlands. I think Agnes 
is good-natured, but it was cruel to attempt to 
frighten me with silly superstitions ; she is very 
io-norant if she does not know that all she said is 
false. I hope Miss Mure is more enlightened, 
otherwise my sojourn here will not be pleasant. I 
judge them to be funny people ; they must be 
eccentric, or they would not keep a crocodile for 
a pet. 

"Agnes says that my room is called the dragon 
room, from the pattern upon the ceiling. I am to 
go later into ' Caduceus,' but she persuaded Miss 
Mure to let me have the larger room at first, as 
beine more homelike. I wonder what ' Caduceus ' 
is like ! There are seven bedrooms — some of 
them must be very small — and one over the back 
kitchen ; in that Agnes sleeps, and it is reached 
by different stairs. 

"After her silly tales about hauntings, I asked her 
why she did not keep a dog. She replied that she 



i8o MYSTERIOUS MAISIE. 

had tried several times to get one to stay, but they 
all ran away. ' They sees 'em, and they won't stop. 
Why there's Draysen's bull terrier, what '11 kill 
anythin' livin' ; when 'c come with the meat one 
day, I 'ticed him in through the side entrance, and 
put him in the back garden. He were right savage 
when I shut the door on him, but 'c no sooner 
turned round and looked the other way than his 
tail dropped, and he whined that awful I were glad 
to let 'im out there and then. But wc must ha' 
summut, so we've got Sivvy.' 

"'And what is Sivvy .!'' I asked. 

" For answer, Agnes commenced to explain that 
Miss Mure is a spiritualist, and constantly attended 
by a lot of spiritual companions, so that dogs and 
other animals dread her. At this I laughed heartily. 
Agnes was not offended, but she said I evidently 
knew very little of such matters. We were then 
silent for a few minutes, and I heard mumblings 
and scratchings. * Is that Sivvy } ' I asked laugh- 
ingly. ' No,' she replied very seriously, 'they're at 
it agen,' by they meaning the spirits, I suppose ; 
but after listening she said it was the ' sooterkin,' 
at which I was, of course, as wise as before. I shall 
have to enlarge my vocabulary very considerably 



MYSTERIOUS MAISIE, i8i 

before understanding the inmates of this house. 
Sivvy frightened me much more than any ghost is 
hkely to do. She is a huge crocodile, nearly four 
feet in length, and she ran, or rather waddled, 
straight towards me as soon as the door to the 
kitchen was opened ; she hissed the whole time, 
and sent one of the chairs spinning by a blow 
from her tail. Agnes had ready a rough and 
much torn Turkish towel, which she threw over 
Sivvy 's head ; the reptile snapped savagely at it, 
and got its teeth entangled in the threads, and 
being also blindfolded by the towel, was quiet 
until Agnes seized its snout with her left hand, 
and taking its right thigh in her other, lifted it 
from the floor. It then commenced to lash 
savagely with its tail, and if Agnes was not badly 
hurt by the blows, she must be destitute of feeling ; 
but it was only for an instant, for she slipped the 
reptile into a tank underneath the side-table by 
the window. She looked hot and flurried when 
the business was over, but she gave me to under- 
stand that the vicious thing was always loose in 
the outer kitchen, and that I must not presume to 
pass that way unless she accompanied me. She 
said also that Sivvy was in and out of the tank in 

N 



1 82 MYSTERIOUS MAISIE. 

her kitchen all night ; a significant hint that neither 
I nor Miss Mure must venture beyond our own 
quarters after Sivvy's supper time. 

" I did not sleep very well last night. Someone 
was in and out of my room several times, but they 
did not reply to my challenge, and as they did not 
molest me, no harm is done. I expect it was 
Agnes, trying to convince me of the truth of her 
ghost stories. I saw Miss Mure just after twelve 
o'clock to-day. She is an ogress. I think she is 
harmless, for she is nearly blind,* but she is 
dreadful to look upon ; very big, very stout, with a 
great fat face and tremendous cheeks and neck. 
She speaks in a very snappy, peremptory manner, 
but what she has said so far has not been 
di.sagrecable. My chief duty it appears is to read 
to her in the afternoons. We commenced to-day ; 
she has a large number of books, but they are 
very old and about many curious things. Some 
of them arc in black letter, which is very hard to 
read ; some are in Latin, which I can read, but 
cannot understand. Miss Mure says, so much the 
better. When she tries to read she has to bring 
the volume quite close to her nose, and then runs 
along the line. It must be very trying work for her, 



MYSTERIOUS MAISIE. 183 

but it is quite comical to see. We finished by 
reading in a book called Ccrtaine Secret Wonders 
of Nature, and I had to copy out the following 
description of a monster, for Miss Mure said she 
knew where there was one just like it, only it was 
nearly six months old ; she seemed very much 
interested in the description, which she has learned 
by heart. 

" ' Begotten of honourable parents, yet was he most 
horrible, deformed and fearefull, having his eyes of the 
colour of fire, his mouth and his nose like to the snoute of 
an Oxe, wyth an Home annexed thereunto like the Trumpe 
of an Elephant ; all hys back shagge-hairde like a dogge, 
and in place where other men be accustomed to have brests, 
he had two heads of an Ape, hauing above his nauell 
marked the eies of a cat, and joyned to his knee and armes 
foure heades of a dog, with a grenning and fearefull 
countenance. The palmes of his feet and handes were like 
to those of an Ape ; and among the rest he had a taile 
turning up so high, that the height thereof was half an elle ; 
who after he had lived foure houres died.' 

"A fortnight has passed since I last wrote in 
my journal. I have had two letters from my 
sister Maggie, and one from mother ; both com- 
plain that they have not heard from me, save by 
the note advising my arrival. I have given three 
letters to Agnes to post for me, to-day I found 



1 84 MYSTERIOUS MAISIE 

them on the dresser in her kitchen. I am not 
allowed to go out of the house at all ; first one 
excuse and then another is made, but I shall soon 
see whether or not any attempt will be made to 
keep me prisoner here. Two people have been at 
different times to sec Miss Mure, but the interviews 
have been private. There is very little variety in 
the life we lead, and our reading is confined to the 
same class of book. I have become quite learned 
respecting goblin-land. I should know much 
more if I understood better the Latin books I 
have to read, but they are printed in such strange 
type and with so many abbreviations, that I have 
to concentrate my attention upon the words, not 
the sense. How different this world to the one 
about which I used to read, and in which I used to 
live ! This is one peopled by demons, phantoms, 
vampires, ghouls, boggarts, and nixies. Names of 
things of which I knew nothing are now so 
familiar that the creatures themselves appear to 
have real existence. The Arabian Nights are not 
more fantastic than our gospels ; and Lempri^re 
would have found ours a more marvellous world 
to catalogue than the classical mythical to which 
he devoted his learning. Ours is a world of 






MYSTERIOUS MAISIE. 185 

luprachaun and clurichaune, deev and cloolie, and 
through the maze of mystery I have to thread my 
painful way, now learnhig how to distinguish oufe 
from pooka, and nis from pixy; study long 
screeds upon the doings of effreets and dwergers, 
or decipher the dwaul of delirious monks who 
have made homunculi from refuse. Waking or 
sleeping, the image of some uncouth form is 
always present to me. What would I not give for 
a volume by the once despised " A. L. O. E." or 
prosy Emma Worboise ? Talk of the troubles of 
Winifred Bertram or Jane Eyre, what are they to 
mine ? Talented authoresses do not seem to 
know that however terrible it may be to have as a 
neighbour a mad woman in a tower, it is much 
worse to have to live in a kitchen with a crocodile. 
This elementary fact has escaped the notice of 
writers of fiction ; the re-statement of it has 
induced me to reconsider my decision as to the 
most longed-for book ; my choice now is the 
Swiss Family Robinson. In it I have no doubt I 
should find how to make even the crocodile useful, 
or how to kill it, which would be still better. 

" It is a month to-day since I left home. It 
seems a year. I am conscious of a great change 



1 86 MYSTERIOUS MAISIE. 

in myself; this cooped -up life, the whole of my 
time passed in the company of people for whom 
I have no affection, and my thoughts engaged 
with things to which I have a natural aversion, 
have altered my character. That this change was 
desired by my employer I am certain. The 
atmosphere of mystery and unreality which 
pervades this house has broken my nerve. The 
trifling irregularities at which I used to laugh now 
oppress me ; the dream faces, the scrapings, the 
waving of the bed-curtains, the footsfeps and the 
scurrying, which disturb my rest, I cannot attribute 
to my imagination. Until a week or so ago I felt 
strong enough to dismiss them as absurdities, now 
I do not know what to think. I see strange forms 
disappearing from the rooms as I enter them ; 
creatures, like to nothing in the heaven above or 
in the earth beneath, trip across the landing as I 
mount the stairs to my chamber ; small headless 
beasts creep through the skirting-board on the 
corridor to hide themselves from my gaze, and 
these matters now affect me greatly. In the 
words of Job, ' Fear came upon me, and trembling, 
which made all my bones to shake. Then a spirit 
passed before my face; the hair of my flesh stood 



0. 



MYSTERIOUS MAISIE. 187 

up : it stood still, but I could not discern the form 
thereof.' I am quite in the power of Miss Mure; 
she takes my hand in hers, and I know not how 
the time passes, but I feel weak and listless ; even 
the letters from Maggie and mother do not interest 
me; they are in answer to letters I do not remember 
to have written. There has been one gathering 
here for the performance of the rites of the higher 
mystery. I was present, but I remember very 
little of them ; one great horror excluded all 
others. A thing they brought here, half human, 
half — I know not what. I was in the front room 
downstairs when it arrived. It stood on two 
splayed feet outside the front gate when I first 
saw it, and its hand was grasped by a sad-looking, 
demure little man, with white hair, and wearing 
large blue spectacles. Its face was hidden by a 
dark silk pockethandkerchief tucked in under the 
edge of a heavy cloth cap, and it made uncouth 
noises, and tugged at the bars of the gate like a 
wild beast in its cage. At the seance we were in 
semi-darkness ; at the table it was placed right 
opposite me, and the cap and handkerchief were 
removed — but it would be wicked to describe 
what was disclosed — neither God nor demon could 



1 88 MYSTERIOUS MAISIE. 

have made that horror ! Its keeper stood at the 
back of it, and he had taken from the black hand- 
bag he carried a short, stiff stick with a pear-shaped 
end, with which he energetically cudgelled the 
horror about the elbows when it tried to get across 
the table to me ; apparently the only thing it 
sought to do. Strange shapes flitted about in the 
gloom, harsh noises were made, there was some 
weird chanting and hysterical sobbing; the sooter- 
kin was brought from its warm-lined hatching-box, 
and twitched two tentacles sluggishly after the 
manner of a moribund jelly-fish ; but my attention 
was riveted on the horror before whom I crouched. 
Since the seance I have had more leisure, and have 
hardly seen Miss Mure, who is engaged in pre- 
parations for some other orgie ; thus I have time, 
and now some inclination, to write once more. 

"Agnes tells me that I am soon to go into 
' Caduceus,' a small room at the back of the house. 
It looks out upon that corner of the garden which 
is a dense tangle of shrub and bramble. It is at 
the angle nearest to a low building which has 
been built on a piece of land cut off from the 
garden. The building, Agnes says, is the mortuary 
for this district, and it is only when there are 



r>. 



MYSTERIOUS MAISIE. 189 

bodies there that Miss Mure convenes a meeting. 
The girl who came to the last stance and sat at my 
side is, Agnes informs me, a successful sorceress. 
Only a short time ago she was robust, stout, and 
healthy ; now she is like a walking corpse, and she 
draws her strength from those of her acquaintance 
who do not shun her. If Agnes is to be believed, 
this Miss Buimbert must be a sort of soul vampire, 
sucking the spirituality from every person who 
allows her to approach within range of her in- 
fluence. I was doubtful whether she was in reality 
a person or only the phantom of one ; it has 
become so hard to me now to distinguish the 
actual from the seemingly real. I know that the 
headless forms and curious creatures which are 
ever flitting before me, and disappearing at my 
approach, are but illusions or phantasms conjured 
by Miss Mure to make an impression upon me, 
and it is to her that I owe the visitations of 
intangible visionary monsters who disturb my rest 
with groans, and make my waking moments 
horrible by their hideous grimaces and threatening 
■gestures. I know the horror was real, for it had 
to be admitted by the front gate, and the impress 
left by its clubbed feet was visible for days on the 



190 MYSTERIOUS MAISIE. 

clayey side walk outside the entrance gate. The 
sooterkin is real, for I have touched the brown 
skin of its boneless body, and seen the impression 
of its short, flabby, rounded limbs in the soft cotton 
wool of its bed. 

" I know the phantoms cannot harm me, and I 
pray earnestly for preservation from all ill, and 
that I may be delivered from this place. 

" Why was I brought here .-' For what unholy 
purpose am I necessary to these people that they 
guard me so jealously } Perhaps Agnes may be 
induced to give me some indication of my fate. 

" Three days have passed since I wrote in my 
journal ; an event has happened which has in- 
creased the mystery of this place. Yesternight, 
about ten o'clock, a car drew up at the front gate. 
I was in the front room and peeped through the 
blind. As Agnes passed the door to answer the 
knock she turned the key of the room and made 
me a prisoner. She admitted three men, and a 
fourth stood on the flags between the door and 
the gate. I had ample opportunity for examining 
him closely. A coarse, ruffianly-looking, burly 
man, a drover or butcher, or one following some 
brutalizing calling, I judged, from his appearance 



0. 

• 



MYSTERIOUS MAISIE. 191 

and his manner whilst standing and walking. 
Dark hair, a short beard, and a raucous voice. 
After admitting the men Agnes went hurriedly to 
her kitchen, and locked and barred the door, and 
soon I heard the hiss and the clattering of furni- 
ture which followed ' Sivvy's ' entrance into the 
front kitchen. 

"The three men went upstairs, and in a few 
moments the stillness of the house was broken by 
the shrill shrieks of a female ; the screams were 
accompanied by sounds as of a scuffle and over- 
turned furniture, then the noise partly subsided, 
but the struggle had not ceased. I heard the 
heavy breathing of the men, and seemed to see 
the efforts made by the woman they were dragging 
to the stairs. There were gasps and short cries as 
they brought her downstairs, and a short but sharp 
struggle in the hall. Then the burly man stepped 
within, and soon the four re-appeared in front, 
half carrying half dragging a struggling woman. 
Her light hair flew in disorder, as she twisted and 
bent to free herself It was with difficulty they 
forced her into the car, and I saw her arms waving 
in helplessness as the captors endeavoured to enter 
the vehicle. I saw, too, that something had been 



192 MYSTERIOUS MAISIE. 

tied over her mouth, and the last thing I noticed 
on her thin forearm, from which the dress had been 
torn, was a freshly- made scratch two or more 
inches in length, from which the blood was still 
trickling. Three of the men, including the burly 
drover, having entered the vehicle, the fourth rang 
our bell, then mounted the seat by the driver, and 
as they drove away I saw them pulling down the 
blinds to the windows of the car. 

"Agnes went out at once and locked the gate, 
then bolted and barred the door and came to me. 
She appeared to have been drinking heavily, and 
answered my earnestly-put questions in an in- 
coherent manner. If I am to believe her there 
have been several girls engaged at different times 
as companions to Miss Mure, and none of them 
have escaped ; some have died, others have been 
taken away after residing here a long time. What 
am I to do.'' I will see Miss Mure to-morrow and 
demand some explanation of what I have seen 
and heard ; and 1 have told Agnes to tell Miss 
Mure when she first sees her to-morrow that I 
must have an interview. 

*' I did not sleep at all last night, for I could not 
dismiss from my mind the scene I had witnessed, 



MYSTERIOUS MAISIE. 193 

and what with speculating upon the fate of the 
unhappy creature forcibly taken away, and fore- 
bodings of ill to myself, I passed a most wretched 
time. 

" Somewhat to my surprise Miss Mure expressed 
her willingness to see me at once. She was at 
breakfast when I entered her bedroom, feeling 
very nervous, and not quite knowing what to say. 
I told her that I did not like the place, and wished 
to go home ; that she had no confidence in me, 
and did not even let me know who were the 
inmates of the house. To this she replied that 
she was sorry that I was not comfortable, that 
Agnes should have instructions to give me greater 
attention, and that any delicacy I might express 
a liking for should be obtained for me. As to not 
knowing who were the inmates of the house, she 
could not understand to whom I referred. No 
one was there, or had been there, but herself, 
myself, and Agnes. When I told her of what I 
had seen, she said it was all imagination ; she 
knew nothing of anyone having been there, and 
surely she would have heard had there been any 
such struggle as I described. I told her that the 
footprints on the footway outside the gate, and 



194 MYSTERIOUS MAISIE. 

the marks of the carriage wheels, were still to be 
seen distinctly, so that I was sure I had not 
deceived myself. She said it was cruel of me to 
mention such evidence, as I knew she was so 
afflicted that she could not see the marks herself; 
and even were the marks there, as I said, she 
was not responsible, for they were not upon her 
premises, and what people did outside our gates 
was beyond our control. The neighbourhood had 
greatly deteriorated since she first resided there. 
Had they not forced her to give uf> the most 
delightful portion of the garden for the erection of 
a public mortuar)' .■• A thing which so incensed 
her that she had entirely neglected the 'beautiful 
pleasure grounds' since, and allowed the gardens 
to run wild, for she never used them now, and she 
only hoped that the authorities would allow her to 
enjoy possession of her house unmolested for the 
few years that remained to her. Then I com- 
plained of the crocodile. To this the answer was 
that I need not go near it. Siva — that is its correct 
name — was to be kept in the kitchen ; it was a 
strange pet, but Agnes wished to keep it, and as 
long as she kept it in her own quarters she was to 
be allowed to do so. If it was once found in any 






MYSTERIOUS MAI SI E. 195 

other part of the house it was to go ; Agnes knew 
that, and I need not fear that it would be allowed 
to pass the threshold of the kitchen. Then I said 
that I did not like the 'horror/ and I could not, 
and would not, stay if it ever came again. She 
replied that it was impertinent of me to attempt 
to dictate to her as to whom she should or should 
not invite as guests to her house, and that she 
would not submit to my dictation ; no harm had 
been done to mc, I had experienced no rudeness, 
and she was sure that none of her acquaintance 
would insult mc. I then told her that I had 
heard that none of the persons who had previously 
filled the post I occupied had received any wages ; 
that I was too poor to stay there if not paid, and 
that my only object on leaving home was to earn 
something to help to support my mother, as my 
sister's salary was insufficient, and that I should 
be pleased to be able to send them something at 
at once. She listened in silence, but veritably 
stormed her reply. I had been listening to ' idle 
kitchen tales,' for she always paid when the money 
was due, my first quarter's salary was not payable 
until Christmas. I should have it then, unless she 
sent me about my business before, and she would 



196 MYSTERIOUS MAISIE. 

like to know if there were any other preposterous 
claims I wished to make. To this I replied some- 
what hotly that I had not made any preposterous 
claims, that I had simply asked for an advance of 
money as a favour and for the purpose I stated ; 
that 1 certainly did wish for greater liberty ; that 
I had never been outside the door since the day I 
came, that I wanted greater freedom for writing 
and posting my letters, and that I could not 
consent to remain in her service unless she showed 
greater confidence in me, and informed of the 
object she had in view when compelling my 
attendance at such meetings as the seatice at which 
I had assisted. She said that she was pleased 
that I had spoken out boldly, for she now felt no 
diffidence in making our relative positions plain to 
me. She wished me to remember that she stood 
in loco parentis, and therefore could not allow me 
to wander about alone, for the neighbourhood was 
not one of the kind in which a young girl could 
do so with impunity. But I was not to imagine 
that it was by her wish that I was confined to the 
premises. On fitting occasions, and as oppor- 
tunities offered, we should drive and walk out 
together. As to the writing of letters I was, and 



0. 



MYSTERIOUS MAISIE. 197 

always had been, quite free to write when I liked 
and whatever I wished to either my mother or my 
sister, and so far from having tampered with my 
correspondence she was only too pleased to know 
that my letters had been delivered to me personally 
by the postman. I sadly mistrusted her, but she 
was sure it was because I did not know her suffi- 
ciently well, and as proof of the kindly interest 
she took in my welfare, and that of my mother 
and sister, she would be pleased to advance me, 
there and then, five pounds on account of my 
first quarter's salary if I would undertake to send 
it at once, writing only a few lines to say why it 
had been sent, and in her presence putting the 
money in the envelope, sealing it and taking it 
directly to the gate, and giving it to any boy who 
might be playing in the locality to post in the 
letter box which we could see about a hundred 
yards distant. She knew it must be tiresome to a 
young girl to have no companions but Agnes, so, if 
my mother was agreeable, I might at Christmas 
spend a few days with friends in London ; or, if 
that could not be arranged, I might invite anyone 
to spend some time with me in her house ; she 
would always be ready to grant me facilities to 

O 



1 98 MYSTERIOUS MAISIE. 

receive or visit any friend of whom my mother 
might approve. As to the object of her studies 
and work, she was gratified that I showed any 
interest in them. I was possessed of sufficient 
inteHigence, she thought, to form some idea of her 
work from the book's I had read to licr. She was 
engaged in researches of a kind not understood 
by many, and she admitted that the m^cthods it 
was necessary to adopt were not always pleasant ; 
indeed they were viewed with such suspicion by 
the authorities that it was advisable" to work in 
secret, or at anyrate in such a manner as would 
excite but little suspicion. She concluded, ' I 
liked you, dear, from the time I first saw your 
portrait, and I hope some day you will be an 
earnest worker in the cause to which I have 
devoted my life.' 

" I made haste to apologise fully, and gladly 
availed myself of her oft'er to make the remittance. 
I thought how pleased dear mother and Maggie 
would be to receive my first earnings, and I took 
the five sovereigns to Agnes to get changed into a 
note by one of the tradesmen. Then I wrote my 
letter, and submitted it to Miss Mure, who at once 
approved it, though it took her some time to read 






MYSTERIOUS MAISIE. 199 

it. When Agnes brought up the note I took the 
number and date, at Miss Mure's suggestion, and 
also the name of the last owner, ' H. Fletcher,' 
scrawled on the back, and stated them upon the 
receipt I gave her ; then in her presence and in 
that of Agnes I put the note and the letter in the 
envelope, sealed it with black wax, and at once 
went with Agnes to the front gate to find a boy to 
post it. At Miss Mure's suggestion we staj'cd 
there, and watched him take it to and drop it in 
the box, then gave him another penny when he 
came back. I never was so pleased as when I 
saw the boy drop the letter in. I felt quite content 
to remain with Miss Mure, and I told Agnes so. 
She did not say anything. I added that though 
we had no friends in London, a friend of mine 
had, and no doubt I should have an invitation 
from them, and leave for a few days at Christmas. 
' Oh no, you won't ! ' said Agnes. ' I 've been 
here fourteen year last Febry, and it ain't the 
fust time I 've seen this trick played. Don't I 
remember poor Miss Jo } Why, 'er stood here 
just as you, and talked about goin' 'ome in a 
fortnight ; but 'er war took bad and died ; and 
'er went 'ome from the mortrey, 'er did. The 



200 MYSTERIOUS MAI SI E. 

missis ain't never so dangerous as when her *s 
nice, that's it, miss. It ain't her fault, but I'm 
sorry for yer, I am.' 

"No sooner were we back in the house than 
Miss Mure called me. I hastened to her, and she 
held out to me the note I had sent in the letter, 
and laughingly asked me why I had forgotten to 
enclose it. There it was, the number and the 
name both corresponded with those I had taken 
of the one I was sure I had enclosed to mother. 
'Have you sent the real note or only tfie phantom .-'' 
she asked. I was too confused to reply. ' Well, 
we will wait until we hear from your home,' she 
said with a smile, and motioned me to leave the 
room. 

" I have had a long talk with Agnes ; she 
refused to say anything about the event of the 
other evening, but says I shall 'see what I shall 
see.' I cannot make out at all what became of 
the other girls; but as to my fate, Agnes makes no 
secret of what she believes is in store for me. ' If 
I was you, miss, I should pra}'. I should ; it can't 
do no harm to you, and it '11 make yer 'appy. 
Why don't I pray } It ain't much use prayin' 
when the copper 'ave 'is 'and on yer shoulder, is 



• 



MYSTERIOUS MAISIE. 201 

it ? I hadn't oughter come 'ere, I 'adn't. If I 'd 
gone to quod it'd only been for life at the wust. 
But Agnes Coley 'd had one taste, and her d'ain't 
want two, so 'er chivvied the beak, and 'as 'er 
liberty — livin' alone in a cellar with a bloomin' 
crocerdile, that's what 'er's doin'.' 

" ' But I have not " chivvied the beak," and I 
am here,' I argued. 

""Course ycr 'aven't. It's yer fate, that's all. 
You won't be here for a couple o' bloomin' stretches 
fightin' for ycr livin' with a stinkin' crocerdile. 
You '11 be a hangel long afore that.' 

"'But, Agnes, tell me why must I be an angel } 
If what you tell me is true, I do not think poor 
Miss Mure and her friends want angels, they seem 
to choose such very opposite characters for their 
acquaintance.' 

" ' Look 'ere, miss, 't ain't that missis wants yer 
to become a hangel; yer '11 become a hangel 'cause 
it 's yer nature.' 

" ' I do not understand you.' 

" * Well, see 'ere. S'pose — only s'pose a' course 
— s'pose that there thing yer call the 'orror were 
to come here, and be put in " Salymandy," and 
you in " Caduceus," with only a bit a' tishy paper 



202 MYSTERIOUS MAI SI E. 

a dividin' yer room from his 'n. Don't yer think 
yer 'd soon be a hangel thin ? ' 

" I shuddered. 

" ' Yer 'd better pray, miss ; though it ain't for 
the likes o' mc to tell yoii to pray — if I 'd a pray'd 
for fourteen year instead o' carryin' on as I 've 
been doin' — but there, it ain't no use cryin' over 
spilt milk.' 

" ' But why should the horror be brought here at 
all > ' 

"'You ask that? Well, I should *ave thought 
you'd a knowed. There was poor Miss Jo, a nice 
girl she was, and she used to tell me that what the 
hinner cercle was after was the makin' o' summat 
different to 'omunclusses, and as how, when all 
things was properishus, they'd try agen and agen 
until they did get somethin' fresh. We was great 
in mandrakes in them days, miss, and some haw- 
ful things I 've seen in this house. Poor Miss Jo, 
'er zvas a dear good girl, just like yerself; but I 
found her 'alf dead in Caduceus, and the dwerger 
what used to be here ain't been nigh since that. 
You do put me in mind o' Miss Jo, miss, you 
do.' 

•' I did not quite understand Agnes at first, but 






MYSTERIOUS MAISIE. 203 

soon the import of much I had read to Miss Mure 
seemed clear to me. 

" You pretend to like me, Agnes, I said. Why 
did you not help Miss Jo, if you liked her as you 
say you did ? " 

" ' That 's it, miss, I ain't no good. When the 
times is properishus I could no more stir a finger 
to help yer than Sivvy could if yer tumbled in a 
vat o' bilin' oil.' 

" ' Then if you believe that, and wish to help 
me, let me escape from here at once.' I clung 
to her arm, for I felt a fear I had never before 
experienced. 

"'No, miss, that wouldn't save yer, and it 'd be 
worse than death to me. I 'an't live 'ere fourteen 
year for nothin'. I 've 'eard all that before. Yer 
a brave girl, you are, braver than Miss Jo, but 
I s'pose it '11 be the same with you as with the 
rest.' 

"We were silent for some time. 

" ' Agnes, will you tell me — will you let me 
know — if that thing ever comes here again ? ' 

" ' I can't promise, miss.' 

" ' If only I could get a few days I could escape,' 
I said in despair. 



204 MYSTERIOUS MAISIE. 

'"No, yer couldn't. There was that Miss Van- 
over who got out of a Russian prison, trying for 
months to escape from 'ere, and 'er never could. 
Besides, 'ow do you know 'e ain't here now } 
What would you do if you met 'im on the stairs 
to-night .'' ' 

" I screamed. 

" ' Be quiet, or I '11 let Sivvy in. You 'd better 
go to bed now.' 

" ' Oh, do help me, Agnes ! ' I pleaded. 

" ' And 'aven't I helped yer .-• 'Avcft't I warned 
yer of yer fate } Ain't it because I like you 
I 'vc told yer what I 'ave .-' You do what I told 
you.' 

" I came upstairs, and have written, and now 
feel more trustful. Surely mother's prayers will 
avail with the good God, and His angels will 
guard me. 

" I slept soundly that night, but the last two 
days my terror has increased. I notice just those 
indications of a forthcoming meeting which im- 
mediately preceded the last sMnce, and the 
passages w^e have read in the books of magic have 
prepared me for the attempt which I feel certain 
will be made. Agnes has taken me, for the first 






MYSTERIOUS MAISIE. 205 

time, into ' Caduceus,' and shewn me the window 
bars which were bent by Miss Jo in her frantic 
endeavours to escape, and I have peeped into the 
adjoining cupboard, 'Salamander,' which is arranged 
more Hke a stall for a beast than a bedroom for a 
human creature. It is divided by the flimsiest of 
partitions from ' Caduceus,' and there is a door 
communicating which / could easily break down. 
I have a letter from mother acknowledging the 
receipt of my remittance,* and containing some 
words of encouragement which I shall lay to heart. 
I showed the letter to Miss Mure, and read it to 
her. She smiled and said she hoped I was now 
satisfied. Unfortunately I am not. 

" Last night I sustained another shock. I was 
again in that downstairs room where I spend so 
much of my time, fearing to see that horror once 
more, yet always on the lookout for it ; it would 
be still worse if it came into the house unknown 
to me. A two-wheeled cart of funny shape, like 
that used for dehvering pianofortes, stopped at the 
gate. Four men were on it. I recognised the 
tread of one at once, he was the burly, butcher-like 

* No money was received and no acknowledgmen': sent. — 
Maggie Gleig. 



2o6 MYSTERIOUS MAISIE. 

man who had waited on the flags when the woman 
was dragged away. I was again locked in the 
room by Agnes, who however did not retreat to 
her kitchen, but fetched h'ghts, and the men 
brought from the vehicle a large coffin. Their 
burden seemed heavy. They spoke in low whis- 
pers, and once inside the house the door was shut. 
Then they conveyed the coffin upstairs, and I 
heard their irregular tramp across the landing. 
From the manner in which the coffin was handled 
I knew that it was not empty. ' 

" Did it contain the corpse of the woman whom 
less than a week ago I had seen forcibly dragged 
from the house .'' Or was it intended for me ? 
Did it contain the living horror, smuggled thus 
into the house so that I should not know of its 
coming .'' 

"The men were not long upstairs, and soon 
descended and drove away. Agnes went straight 
to her kitchen without unfastening the door of the 
room in which I was. I called and knocked, but 
obtained no reply. 

" It was nearly midnight when the door com- 
municating with the drawing-room opened, and 
Miss Mure beckoned to me to follow her. We 






MYSTERIOUS MAISIE. 207 

went upstairs, and she told me that my room had 
been changed. I was to sleep henceforth in 
'Caduceus,' whither my things had already been 
conveyed, 

" She showed me into the room, and left me 
there with less than a half inch of candle, locking 
the door upon me. I at once attempted to 
barricade the fhmsy door which divided my room 
from the 'pen,' but the result was unsatisfactory. 
Then I looked for my Bible, but none of my 
books appeared to have been brought into the 
room. It did not take long to search the small 
apartment, and my things were so few that the 
books must have been left behind purposely. 
There was no bedstead in the room, but in its 
place was a long settle like a boxed-in bath or 
water cistern, and on the top of this a straw 
mattress was laid and the bed made ; a long 
curtain, hanging over a pole swung above the 
middle of the bed in the French fashion, hid the 
want of a bedstead. Suddenly it occurred to me 
that the coffin had been placed in the locker 
under my bed. For some minutes I was too 
frightened at the thought to do more than stare 
blankly at the bed. When I commenced to lift up 



2o8 MYSTERIOUS MAISIE. 

the palliasse the candle gave a warning flicker, and 
I was in utter darkness before I could make even 
a cursory examination of the locker. Left without 
light and with the apartment in disorder, I sat in a 
half dazed condition on the first chair into which I 
could drop ; straining my eyes to see further into 
the darkness and my ears to catch a sound from 
the next room. In a short time I succeeded in 
frightening myself completely. I heard, or thought 
I heard, the peculiar grunting of the horror, and I 
flung myself against the door fror?i my room, 
hoping to break it down, but the effort was useless, 
and I again sank helplessly into the chair. It was 
whilst listening breathlessly for the sounds I so 
well remembered, that my attention was distracted 
by a sigh, as the soughing of the wind, from the 
box bed before me. I looked in that direction, 
and in the pitchy blackness saw a bright white 
figure, first its head projecting through the lid of 
the box, or the bottom of the bed, then slowly it 
arose — a corpse fully dressed out in its grave 
clothes, with livid face, fallen jaw, and wide-open 
glassy eyes staring vacantly before it. Very many 
strange things I had seen since staying at Miss 
Mures, but no spectre so struck mc with terror as 






MYSTERIOUS MAISIE. 209 

did this one. I felt that I could not stay there 
with it. I sprang up, and whilst my gaze was 
riveted upon it fell back towards the door of 
'Salamander' and groped for the fastenings. The 
door yielded to my pressure, and scrambling over 
my box I entered the little pen or cupboard, which 
was associated in my mind with the thing I most 
dreaded. In the delirium of terror I felt that I 
must reach Agnes, but I had sufficient sense to 
clutch at the bed coverlet as I escaped from my 
room. The door from 'Salamander' was unlocked, 
and without stopping to think I sped along the 
corridor and hurried downstairs, groping my way 
more slowly in the less known hall and passages 
leading to the kitchen. The door had no lock — in 
this very old part of the house a drop latch was 
the only fastening — and by working away perse- 
veringly the stop peg Agnes stuck in above the 
latch would drop out. I knew Siva would be 
near, and had the coverlet ready to throw over 
her, but when I gently opened the door and peered 
in I saw Siva was perched half on a chair and half 
on the kitchen table still and dumb, whilst before 
the fire there stood the figure of a man from 
whom the skin had been removed. It was like an 



2 10 MYSTERIOUS MAISIE. 

anatomical figure designed to show the muscles ; 
its grinning face, prominent teeth, and colourless 
scalp were doubly horrible in the glow of the 
dying fire. As it turned its head to look at me 
the last spark of hope died in my heart, and with 
a loud scream I fell forward on the floor and 
fainted. 

"When I recovered consciousness I was again 
on the bed in ' Caduccus.' The light of a foggy 
morning showed that the room was empty, and 
some untouched breakfast was on a 'tray by my 
bedside. Was the adventure of last night a dream 
or a reality .'' 

" I arose and went at once downstairs and wrote 
up my journal. When I went there again, in the 
dusk of the early evening, a young woman was 
sitting in an obscure corner ; I bowed to her, and 
took up my accustomed position at the front 
window. She crossed over to me, and sat by my 
side. I felt pleased that she did so, and soon we 
commenced a conversation. I learned that her 
name was Maisie, and she told me that she under- 
stood my fears, and that in time I should be free 
of them. Her face seemed familiar, her voice was 
sweet, and manner gentle and subdued. I could 






MYSTERIOUS MAISIE. 211 

learn nothing concerning Miss Mure, and Maisie 
told me that she could never see me in her presence, 
but she would be in that room frequently, and 
possibly she could come to me occasionally in my 
new room. 

" I told her of my dread of that room, and of 
the great fear I entertained that the cupboard next 
to it would be tenanted by the creature who was 
sometimes brought there. She told me it was 
wrong to anticipate trouble, the danger was less 
real than I imagined. I spoke of what I had seen 
from that window, and she shuddered when I 
described the struggles of the woman who had 
been dragged away. I commenced to tell her of 
what I had seen brought back the night before, 
but she prevented me with an impatient gesture. 
I dropped the Subject, but soon the thoughts which 
were uppermost in my mind were again the topic of 
my tale, and I told her of the spectre I had seen 
arise from beneath my bed. She arose abruptly, 
and, with a sad wave of the hand, left the room by 
the door leading to the passage. I remained there 
musing, and hoping that she would soon return. 
The darkness and loneliness became oppressive. 
I sought Agnes, but I dared not speak to her of 



212 MYSTERIOUS MAI SIR. 

Maisie, and as we had little to say to each other, 
she went to bed early. 

" That night I barely slept at all, the remem- 
brance of my adventures the night before, or the 
too vivid nature of my dream, prevented slumber. 
I may have dozed several times, but 1 had no 
sleep until daylight broke, when I fell into a 
troubled slumber. When in the afternoon I 
again entered the downstairs room Maisie was 
there. Her presence cheered me ; she said but 
little, and all too soon she went, ■♦l am pleased 
with the companionship of Maisie; sometimes I 
find her in my bedroom, but there she is always 
more sad than when downstairs, and I barely 
notice her coming and going. She glides in and 
out as a ghost might. My manner, likely enough, 
is the same. To-day, when I looked in the mirror, 
I was horrified at my appearance. My face is 
pallid as death, and set in its frame of hay-coloured 
hair, and with two violet eyes shining like burning 
coals, I doubt whether it would not frighten a 
visitor as much as any real spectre could do. 

" Something tells me I am not long for this 
world ; I think of mother and Maggie, and burst 
into tears. They will miss me. If it were not 



MYSTERIOUS MAI SI E. 213 

for them I think I should like to be at rest ; but 
when I think about it ' a strange perplexity creeps 
coldly on me, like a fear to die.' I have talked 
about this to Maisie, and she answered peremptorily 
that I must not die here. ' You know not what it 
means to die in this place.' I looked at her 
earnestly. Was she real .■' The words of Dryden 
came imperatively into my mind — 

" ' Oh ! 't is a fearful thing to be no more. 
Or if it be, to wander after death ; 
To walk, as spirits do, in brakes all day ; 
And when the darkness comes, to glide in paths 
That lead to graves ; and in the silent vault, 
Where lies your own pale shroud, to hover o'er it. 
Striving to enter your forbidden corpse. ' 

" I looked tearfully at Maisie ; she did not 
reply, but her face was ineffably sad. As I cried 
piteously, ' Oh, Maisie ! Maisie ! ' she left the room 
hastily. 

" I saw her again when I went to my room ; her 
face was still troubled, but she drew me towards 
her affectionately, and we talked together for a 
long time of love, and trust, and of beauty. The 
pale moonlight shone into the room, and by its 
faint glimmer Maisie's face seemed truly beautiful; 
but for the first time I noticed that her hands were 

P 



214 MYSTERIOUS MAISIE. 

coarse, and that upon the wrist of one there was 
the scratch I had seen on the arm of the woman 
who had been dragged from the house on that 
terrible evening a fortnight ago. She smiled 
when she saw that I noticed the scar, but offered 
no explanation. It seemed to alter the thread of 
our discourse, for she talked to me of my position 
in the house, of the heavy work sJic had to do on 
the morrow. It would be best for me to go, if I 
really wished. I told her how I dreaded the next 
meeting, and how anxious I was to» escape. For 
some minutes she was silent ; she then said it 
would be hard to part from me, but to-morrow, if 
I would trust her, she would show me how to 
escape. I was to follow her in silence, soon after 
midnight, and must promise not to speak to her. 
I expressed my readiness to do all that she wished, 
and commenced at once to think out my plans for 
getting my things together in readiness. She said 
that she was tired, and with my permission would 
rest for a time on my bed. She lay down, and 
after looking at her for a time I turned away and 
watched the moon and the slowly-floating clouds. 
I must have dozed, for when I again looked for 
her I found that she had disappeared. 







MYSTERIOUS MAISIE. 215 

" When I awoke in the morning it was already- 
late, but I should have slept on had not the noise 
of strange footsteps on the landing disturbed me, 
I dressed hastily, and upon leaving my room was 
in time to see two men dragging the coffin from 
under my bed through a door in the wooden 
partition which divided the room from the landing. 
I waited and saw that it was taken to the stance 
room. 

" Agnes has been in a very bad temper all day. 
Siva has been thrust out into the garden, and 
lurks about in the bushes. The house has been 
reeking with strange odours, and the preparations 
for the meeting to-night are now completed. I do 
so hope Maisie will not fail me, and that I shall 
leave this house to-night for ever. I have not 
seen Miss Mure, nor did I expect to. Maisie has 
not been here, and I am waiting patiently at the 
window, looking out for the arrival of that most 
fearful of all things which attends the meeting of 
the black magicians. I feel that if I see it again 
I shall never more write in this, my journal. It is 
at the gate, gripped tightly by the old man with 
blue spectacles. Adieu ! 

% « Ji^ « « 



2i6 MYSTERIOUS MAI SIR. 

" East Sheen, 

^^ December \a^th. 

"Dearest Mother, — Mr. Frank's telegram has in- 
formed you that I have left Miss Mure's. That the 
why and wherefore of my conduct may be understood 
without inconvenient explanations by word of mouth 
when I see you, I send you the journal I have kept 
since I went there, and when I tell you that I have 
promised one to whom I owe my life that I will never 
speak of my experiences while with those dreadful people, 
I know that both Maggie and yourself will accept this 
account as final, and so far complete as I am able to 
make it. . . . At the seance I was pleased to see Maisie 
sitting opposite me in the seat which the horror had 
occupied on the last occasion. On the table between 
us was the coffin, open, and containing Maisie herself. 
The other Maisie, the living one, smiled at me as she 
saw my wondering face. The monster still had its face 
covered, and was tolerably still. I kept my gaze fixed 
ujion Maisie during the performance of the preliminary 
rites. Later, when the face of the horror was un- 
covered, it whined piteously, and moved about the room 
as a ferret which has escaped from a rat-hole, sniffing 
and creeping, but avoiding the seat on which Maisie sat, 
and towards which it was evident its keeper wished to 
direct it. Then it clambered on to the table, and threw 
itself upon the body in the coflin. Maisie at once arose, 
and crossing to where I was gazing in the stupefaction 






MYSTERIOUS MAISIE. 217 

of fascination upon the horror, she touched me hghtly 
on the shoulder, and I turned and followed her from 
the room. We went downstairs and through the kitchens, 
then along an old, little-used passage leading to a stable- 
yard. In this there was a door locked from the inside, 
the key still in the lock. Maisie indicated that I was to 
open the door, and we passed out into a passage leading 
to the pathway by the mortuary. We were free. She 
then made me promise never to speak of what had 
happened to me, and told me to hasten towards town. 
I looked behind me, and saw her pale, wistful face still 
watching me. How I reached here I can tell you fully. 
It was all so strange. In the thick London fog the men 
and creatures all loomed upon me suddenly, and took 
seemingly strange shapes. I became frightened, but 
struggled on to the address I had determined to reach. 
More I will never tell until Maisie shall have released 
me from the promise I made." 



Nothing has shaken my sister's resolution. 
Miss Mure has now left the house, and resides 
with a relative. Agnes, we learned, has joined 
her friends in Australia. Whether the mystery is 
fact or fiction I may never know, but my sister is 
often strangely affected since her return to us. 



2i8 MYSTERIOUS MAISIE. 

She starts in her sleep, is often found weeping, is 
timorous, and will not be alone after dusk. Even 
when she is with us, and we are as merry as we 
know how to be, her face will suddenly become 
clouded, and she will shrink as though some great 
horror were before her, and ofttimes she will raise 
her hands as though to screen from view something 
which terrifies her, and sends her sobbing to mother 
or myself. 



• 



The Face of Nahire. 

THE other clay a man who gave the name of 
Vigleik Mekke called upon me. He was a 
Finn who had for some years been resident in 
South America, and was on his way home from 
Bogota to Uleaborg. He said that his object was 
to learn of me how he could see into the soul of 
things. As, from his conversation, I judged him 
to be a fairly successful psychometrist, the question 
seemed an idle one. But I had not rightly under- 
stood the broken English in which he spoke ; 
what he wished was to look upon the face of 
nature as a whole — in mystic jargon, upon the 
Macrocosm. 

The psychometrist is to the true mystic much 
the same as the geologist to the inspired poet; 
he obtains some knowledge of results, but an 
inadequate idea of causes, even in his own field, 
which is the microcosm. By investigation the 
geologist may understand the formation of a par- 



2 20 THE FACE OF NATURE. 

ticular stratum, of several, or many strata, even 
comprehend a mountain range, but will need 
genius to idealise the formation of a continent. 
The powers and learning which constitute a com- 
petent mineralogist do not avail when he leaves 
the study of microcosm to conceive the composition 
of the macrocosm. Assuming the planet earth is 
alive — they who do not believe that it is so may 
possibly imagine so little — that it possesses huge 
vital organs, these organs of the same, composition, 
roughly, as that of the earth's crust, and that, by 
some means, the earth shall be pierced through 
its centre, and the fragments from the boring 
submitted to geologists, to the most learned of 
the students of the microcosm. Is it likely that 
they will learn more of the earth's organic struc- 
ture than they can from investigation of the 
surface ? The investigators would be of the same 
nature as 

" He, who with pocket hammer smites the edge 
Of luckless rocks, detailing by the stroke 
A chip or splinter to resolve his doubts ; 
And, with that ready answer satisfied, 
The substance classes by some barbarous name, 
And hurries on." 






THE FACE OF NATURE. 221 

Wordsworth adds, " Doubtless wiser than before " ; 
but in that I cannot wholly agree. The knowledge 
obtained would be of a similar kind to that already 
possessed, and though it might lead to a different 
classification and arrangement of the facts of 
geology, an epoch - marking revolution in the 
history of physical science, the real result would 
be no greater than one which should cause 
people to give new names to all books, turn them 
the other way round on the shelves, and evermore 
read their newspapers upside down. 

For me personally the study of fragments, and 
the investigation of past events, possess no attrac- 
tion. As Vigleik Mekke stated it : "I want a 
bird's-eye view of futurity." To obtain a bird's- 
eye view you must not only reach the altitude at 
which it is possible, but when there must not 
concentrate the sight upon any particular object, 
but allow all within range to focus upon you. No 
longer observe the microcosm, allow the macro- 
cosm to manifest itself. All created things may 
be ascertained by those who have the ability to 
interpret the perceptions created things produce. 
The psychic power necessary to effect the inter- 
pretation of a sensation into a cognition, or idea 



2 22 THE FACE OF NATURE. 

of the thing which produced the sensation, varies 
with individuals. Mekke undoubtedly possesses 
greater psychic force than most men. He is also 
well developed mentally, that is to say, knows 
how to utilise his perceptions. For instance, his 
plan had been as follows : — Whilst making geo- 
logical investigations, he was puzzled by observing 
large heaps of loose stones and boulders upon 
mountain tops where they could not have been 
deposited by glaciers, and where there were 
positive proofs that they were not wJiat are termed 
" outcrop." Testing them psychometrically, he saw 
that they had been gathered together artificially, 
though by what, or whom, he could not see. 
Nevertheless, he was aware that there were near 
them huge crustaceans some ten or more feet in 
height, in shape very much like human creatures, 
but neckless, and with heads, like those of crabs, 
low down between their shoulders. These am- 
phibious creatures lived on the fringe of the then 
forming glaciers, and waged war upon other 
creatures, which sheltered themselves behind walls 
of loosely-piled rocks, the ruins of which were 
the collections of stones which had puzzled him as 
geologist. Prior to that period in the world's history 



6-, 



THE FACE OF NATURE. 223 

the atmosphere had been much more dense, even 
then it was much denser than now ; these creatures, 
who had left but the faintest psychometric trace, 
had developed in that thick air, and were akin to 
that aerial race which long preceded man as the 
dominant creature upon the earth's surface. We 
have long postulated the existence of such crea- 
tures without psychic proof. A heap of rough 
stones furnishes the " trace " required, and a whole 
world of fresh existences is discovered. 

It must be explored. 

First, where not to go. This aerial race was 
not even akin to the other predominant glorified 
human creatures, which more immediately preceded 
man. Man resembled this later race about as 
much as the common ant will resemble the new 
being, half a span in height, who will succeed man 
as the predominant creature on this world's crust. 
Mekke knows the scale of the aerials' work, and 
where to look for the traces that remain of it. It 
is as hard for us to attribute what they have done 
to anything but Nature, as it will be for the coming 
ant-like creatures to attribute the ruins of our 
ship-canals, great railway cuttings, and tunnels 
to anything but the workings of Nature ; at the 



2 24 THE FACE OF NATURE. 

marvels of which they will of course be lost in 
wonder and admiration. 

The most fitted to survive among the descendants 
of Mekke's aerial race still exist in the bosom of 
the earth's atmosphere. Less dense than the most 
rarefied gas known to physicists, they are all- 
powerful on their own plane, and not altogether 
powerless on ours. Mekke asserts that the weaker 
among them are to be found on the southern 
periphery. They are curious to find what are the 
psychic qualities of the substrata beneath their 
ocean of atmosphere. He has seen what I may 
term psychic rays, descending from the sky when 
the weather has been bright, clear, and sunny, 
reach the sea, disturb its surface, and extract 
from the water various gases, and with them be 
drawn up again into the unbroken blue of the 
sky. He has seen the same "trawling" rays 
descend upon open land in the forests of Western 
Brazil, turning over the earth and mould like a 
snow-plough on the Pacific railway. He measured 
one of these trenches, and found it twelve feet deep 
in places, and about the same width ; it extended 
for nearly a quarter of a mile, appearing from a 
distance like the work of some mighty earth-worm. 



THE FACE OF NATURE. 225 

Mekke thinks he has been en rapport with some 
of these supermundane existences ; he says it is 
devitalising in the extreme, he is more than half 
dead at the conclusion of the trance. But to see 
the world from their point of view must be to 
see the whole of the face of Nature. Poor Mekke ! 
The whole of the face of Nature is so huge that 
the solar universe in its entirety is but as a few 
sweat drops trickling from its brow; with an eye 
as large as the sun itself one could not see the face 
of nature. But Mekke will try ; he will kill him- 
self in the attempt, and the effort is well worth the 
sacrifice it will entail. 



TJie Actical Apparition, 

I J E was a real ghost, there was no mistake 
-l about that, though many people disputed it. 
In the matter of ghosts experience alone carries 
complete conviction. If those who doubt did but 
pass through what I suffered, they wpuld not speak 
glibly of hallucinations or illusions, they would 
know what a ghost is like — words may fail to 
convey the exact impression. My experience 
again is remarkable in so far as I saw, heard, and 
felt the apparition — if one sense was deceived all 
were deceived. But to the story. 

In 1S92 I removed into a couple of cosy little 
rooms recommended me by a friend as being 
"just the thing, you know, so snug and con- 
venient, just right for an artist, and then the land- 
lady is so nice and good-natured." 

I took up my residence there in June, and for a 
few weeks went through the usual process of 
".settling down." With the exception of a night- 






THE ACTUAL APPARITION. 227 

mare or two, or that which seemed then to come 
under the category of such, I gradually began to 
feel myself at home, or as near there as one can 
be in the average furnished apartments. 

These so-called nightmares were the forerunners 
of my future experiences. Vague and inexplic- 
able, I did not at first attach any importance to 
them, or attribute them to any ghostly visitant ; 
but rather to bad dreams, or perhaps over-fatigue. 
I did not then take account of when and how they 
happened ; such a course, naturally, did not enter 
my mind, and it was some time afterward that 
I had occasion to classify them as it were. 

It was on the night of the 30th Sept., 1S92, that 
the apparition first took actual shape. As usual 
that night I went to bed not feeling the least 
nervous, as I had plenty of other things to occupy 
my mind at that time, and I was utterly un- 
suspicious of any harm happening on that, or any 
other night. It was about 1 1 p.m. when I 
extinguished my candle, and I had been asleep 
about two hours I suppose, when I suddenly 
awoke with the impression that someone else was 
in the room. The place, with the exception 01 
the farthest corners, seemed to be filled with a 



2 28 THE ACTUAL APPARITION. 

ghastly grey light (there was no moon that night), 
and in front of the window the dark figure of a 
man passed to the foot of the bed, and stood there 
regarding me. 

For the moment it seemed almost familiar 
to me, for the figure somewhat resembled that 
of my father, so much so that involuntarily I 
gasped : 

" Father, is that you ? " 

" I 'm not your father," was the sullen reply. 

"Then who arc you," I asked, highly indignant 
at the intrusion. 

"If you want to know who I am, I 'm Robert," 
he hissed. 

I knew no one of that name, I became frightened, 
his expression was so maniacal, so devilish, that 
I was speechless with terror, but could not remove 
my gaze. I dared not move, I did not scream, 
but I am not given to screaming on any account 
or under any stress of fright. 

The cold perspiration stood out all over me, 
and I lay there simply paralysed under that gaze. 
Then, horror of horrors ! he sprang at me like a 
cat, and for a moment the struggle was fearful ; 
afterwards I must have swooned, for I remember 



• 



THE ACTUAL APPARITION. 229 

nothing more for some minutes, or it may be 
longer, when I gradually perceived that the room 
was dark once more, and there was no apparent 
form visible ; though I dared not think of what 
might be lurking in the dim corners of the room. 
I felt I dare not move an inch even to reach the 
matches, nor could I contemplate for a moment 
raising an alarm. Such a course would have been 
futile, as my rooms were cut off from the rest of 
the sleeping apartments. There was no more 
sleep for me that night. All I could do was to 
wait and watch for the dawn, which came at last, 
and with it relief 

I felt convinced that my visitant was no human 
being; for no human being could have got through 
the door of my sitting-room, which led into my 
bedroom, without my being instantly aware of it, — 
as the fastening had an unfortunate trick of snap- 
ping with a spring rather loudly, and without the 
least warning, no matter how carefully manipulated. 
The windows, too, of both sitting-room and bed- 
room, are unyielding, noisy in their movements; 
and though I kept the one in the bedroom always 
open at the top, yet only sufficiently wide to 
admit a free current of fresh air, certainly not 

Q 



230 THE ACTUAL APPARITION. 

wide enough to admit any intruder choosing to 
come in that way. 

I could not chase the recollection of the horrid 
thing from my mind all that day, and I made it 
my business to tax my landlady with it, and get 
her to account for it in a reasonable way. I asked 
her first, whether she knew of anything out of the 
ordinary that might have happened in the rooms 
before I took them ; or whether a death had 
occurred there. She seemed very much taken by 
surprise, and innocently curious as»to my reason 
for asking her ; in fact, her replies were most irri- 
tating in their assumption of innocence. Whether 
she ever really was cognizant of anything taking 
place there, and kept her knowledge back for 
pecuniary reasons of her own, I shall never learn. 
I only know that it was with the most guileless 
air imaginable that she promised to make inquiries 
of an old lady next door, who had lived there in 
the former tenant's time, and most likely knew all 
about it. But whatever the old lady did say was 
never told to me, though I repeatedly made 
inquiries. 

I for my part took note of the fact that it was 
on the last night of the month, which struck me as 






THE ACTUAL APPARITION. 231 

being peculiar, as on the last night of the preceding 
month I remembered I had had a curious experi- 
ence during the night, the precise nature of which 
I could never arrive at satisfactorily. It seemed 
to me a curious jumble of dream and reality, and 
a sense of being pummelled to a pulp. I put this 
experience down to a nightmare, as I could not 
account for it in any other way, though I had 
partaken of nothing that evening at supper to 
cause indigestion. In short, I tried in vain to 
arrive at a satisfactory conclusion, and to reduce 
the unusual experience to a natural cause, but did 
not succeed in so doing. 

The month went quickly by ; I had much to 
think of; life is made up of a multitude of little 
things, and the trivialities often fully occupy our 
thoughts ; but at that time I was contemplating 
a change of importance, and what to do in the 
circumstances pressing upon me required so much 
thought and attention, that the experience of the 
last night in the month faded into insignificance ; 
so much so, that the last day of the month again 
arrived without so much as a thought on my part 
that it was the last day. I therefore retired that 
night as inapprehensive as one could wish, full of 



232 THE ACTUAL APPARITION. 

my little troubles, and utterly oblivious to nervous 
fear. 

I had not been asleep two hours before I felt a 
horrible pressure from behind (I was lying on my 
right side), and two long, cold, clammy hands 
were gradually insinuated beneath my arms. I 
felt instinctively that they were " Robert's," and, 
cold with fright, almost paralysed by the strength 
of his grip, I held them tight as in a vice ; where- 
upon they were removed and immediately held in 
front of my face, on a level with Yny eyes, each 
finger moving as though vindicating their release 
from my pressure ; and in my determination to 
hurt them if I possibly could, and thereby rid 
myself of his presence once and for all, / took 
the little finger of the hand nearest me to pincJi it 
with a spiteful pinch, when it again eluded my 
grasp and vanished, together with the hands 
themselves. 

Trembling at what I had had the temerity to 
do, I sank back on my pillow, moved not a limb 
for very fear, and waited for morning. 

I asked myself again and again, What did it all 
mean ? Was I to be haunted in this way all the 
time I remained in these rooms, tormented by a 



• 



THE ACTUAL APPARITION. 233 

thing so uncanny as this " Robert," as he called 
himself? Why I had never in my life before 
come across, or had any dealings with, any person 
of the name of Robert, and certainly after this 
experience I never wished to. I resolved that 
as soon as possible I would seek fresh apart- 
ments, and until they were found I would sleep 
anyivJiere but in that room on all future "last 
nights." After this, therefore, at the end of every 
month, I slept at the houses of friends who, while 
appearing to sympathise most warmly with me, 
laughed undisguisedly at my contention that 
Robert was a real ghost. 

I have long since removed from the apartments 
and the only facts I have been able to gather 
concerning its previous tenants were obtained for 
me by the wife of a medical man long resident in 
the neighbourhood. " Robert " was the son (or 
brother, I forget which), then dead, of the family 
who formerly lived in the house where I lodged. 
He was known to be wrong in the head, and some 
time before his death had to be placed under 
restraint and labelled " dangerous." Moreover, his 
apartments in the house were those which I 
occupied. I was never able to find out any 



234 THE ACTUAL APPARITION. 

reason for his appearance on the last nights only. 
I have not seen him or his apparition once since 
I left the house, nor do I wish to. 

This is a plain statement of the actual facts in 
nothing elaborated, and the drawing I have made 
is a faithful presentment of what I saw. 



PLYMOUTH: 

WILLIAM BRENDON AND SON, 

PRINTERS. 



» ■ 



THE TIME LIMITED SERIES. 



UNIFORM WITH "PHANTASMS." 
Crown 8vo. Cloth, 3s. 6d. net October to December, 1895. 



MANDRAKES. 

Original Stories of some "anrecjar^eD 5tcm0. 

BY 

WIRT GERRARE. 

AUTHOR OF "phantasms," " RL FIN's LEGACY," ETC., ETC. 



These stories are new. The method of publishing them 
is new. So much fiction now found in volume form has 
previously appeared in periodicals that it is difficult to find 
a new book the contents of which shall be new to every 
reader. By the time limit placed upon the sale of the SOLE 
edition, book buyers do not run the risk of purchasing as 
new, stories they have already read— an advantage still more 
appreciable when purchasing a book for presentation. In 
the time limited series the book is offered once and for all, 
at a popular price, and it is intended for one season only, at 
the close of which it is no longer issued, and, during the 
continuance of the copyright, will not be reprinted. 



LONDON : 

THE ROXBURGHE PRESS, 

3, VICTORIA STREET, 

Westminster. 



BV THE AUTHOR OF ''PHANTASMS." 



Single Volume, Cheaper Edition. Crown 8vo, cloth gilt, 312 pages. 

Price 2s. 6d. 



RDFIN'S LEGACY: A THEOSOPHICAL ROMANCE. 

By Wirt Gerrare. 



lEltracts from tbc 3firi3t IRcvfcws. 

"As a gift book for any reader who has a love for the sensational, 
Rufiti's Legacy, by Wirt Gerrare, should have few rivals. It is far 
removed from the conventional in point of subject, and the story will 
be followed with strained interest by every reader." — Yorkshire Post. 

"An odd story. Sensationalism and mysticism are inextricably 
blended, and the theories it suggests are very startling indeed. The 
book is an eccentric one in conception and style, but it is far from 
lacking interest, and shows considerable power." — Scottish Leader, 

" There is an appalling intensity about certain parts of this 
stirring romance which will have a great attraction for a certain 
class of readers. There is also a domestic tale of the affections 
which will conciliate probably a still larger cla^s. . , . The work 
has the interest of a very involved and intricate detective story, as 
well as of a very subtle and profound metaphysical study. The 
story is extremely well told, and is easy and pleasant to follow. 
The character of Mr. Caradoc Morgan is very original, and is 
delineated with considerable power." — Manchester Examiner. 

" The plot is original and well worked out, and some of the 
situations are very dramatic. We do not know why Christmas 
should be associated with blood-curdling tales, but we doubt if 
many will surpass Kiijin's Legcuy in horrors, albeit a most interest- 
ing book." — Birmingham Daily Gazette. 

"■ Rufin^s Legacy is a powerful work. It is distinctly new. The 
book has to be read through at a sitting, though it does contain 
312 pages ; there is no dallying with such a story. ... In some 
of the earlier scenes the people are actually bright, cheerful, and 
decidedly epigrammatic. There is no denying the intensely vivid 
and dramatic nature of Mr. Gerrare's work. Ru/tn's Legacy is a 
curious book." — Magazine and Book Review. 

" The strange mysticism of the whole volume is one to enthrall 
the reader." — Bookseller. 

" The narrative of the girl Xenia is very singular, but as the 
leading incidents of it form the principal feature of the book it 
would be unfair to reveal them. There is some amount of power 
in the story." — Academy. 

London : Hutchinson & Co., Paternoster Row. 






JVlEMORANDA. 



• 

lelc^'iaphic 

Ao'Jiess; ^ 

'QUILLDRIVER, 1 


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London. ' Q 


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'A B.C. 'cable CODE. D 


, , ^^EJr LnttiUa. 



A SELECTION FROM THE 

List of Publications, 

TOGETHER WITH SOME PRESS OPINIONS OP THE 
AUTHORS' PREVIOUS OR PRESENT WORKS. 

ISSUED BY 

THE ROXBURGHE PRESS, 

CONDUCTED BV 

MR. CHARLES F. RIDEAL, 

Ftllau) o/lht Royal Socitty of Littraturt, etc. 

London : 

3, VICTORIA STREET, WESTMINSTER, 

where all Coinniunications should be Addressed. 

Retail at 

32. CHARING CROSS, S.W, 

Trade Agents : 

Messrs. 

SiMPKiN, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent & Co., 

Limited. 



'O AUTHORS. 

e the pr- 
;iartmeni 



.i b.l^:^ '-■■- ■ 

I'ublishin- 1 
pose of advai 
the Librarie-, 
dulged in. ." 
Chartered A 
the interests 



' publish- 

ature on 

J r I ce. Tiie 

' for the pur- 

, 1". i^> " 1 ,re the Trade, 

No secret profits are in- 

...... ' 1111..1 the certificate of a 

and eve- i done to promote 

<; nnd thc! 



■ For dainty book-work cohimend us to the Roxburghc Press. Everj'. 

— ' • ' • •'••■■ '■■•'• ' " *■— <:e is of the -nry best description. 

: of the beautiful characterises ill 



agencies in 
the united states, canad.1, 



INDIA. AND THE CONTINENT 
1895. 



.1. AUSTRALIA. 



CONTENTS 



PACf 

Index of Slbjkci. 
List of Authors, AKiiii;, li 
Scientific. General. Tkavel. Rlmims- 
CENCE, Fiction 

OlCKENSIANA . i; 

Verse and Song 19 

Medicine, Nursing, and alulu subjects 23 

Occult, Folk Lore, etc., etc 27 
Works bv Mr. Charles F. RiDt.VL issued 

through Other Publishers. . -i 



0. 

• 



INDEX OF SUBJECTS 



Accidents . . 25 

Across the Atlantic .9 

Bibliography of Guns anil Sliootiiig, A ... 9 
Childhood. A Magazine for Every Mother . . 25 
Chiromanci', Chirognomy, Palmistry . . .29 
Comprehensive Dictionary of Palmistrj-, A . 30 

Crucifixion of Man, The 22 

Crushes and Crowds in Thealresand other Buildii'^-s la 
Dickens, Cliarles. Heroines and Women I'ol'r: 

Some thoughts concerning them 
Digest of Literature, A 
Divine Problem of Man, The, "is a Living Soul. 

Being an explanation of what it is 

Dry Toast 

Evolution, a Retrospect 

Fever Nursing .... 

Erom Dawn to Sunset 

Glossary and Polyglot Dictionary of Technical 

Words and Idioms used in the Firearms In 

duitry, etc., A 

Good Luck ; or. Omens and Superstitious 
Hands of Ct) us in Palmistry 

Homer's Wi. , . . 

1 low to Prolong Luc . 25 

Idcaof a Patriot Party, Th. u 

India in Nine Qiapters ... .11 

Law and Lawyers of Pickwick, Tlie . .18 

Lectures to Nurses on Antiseptics in Surgery . 33 
Lost Mother, A 12 

Magistracy, Tlic 1 1 

Mandrakes. Original Stones ol borne UnregardeJ 

Items II 

Manual of Practical Electro-Therapeutics, A 
Massage for Bef;-inners . . • jj 

Midi\a! Montlily, The Pof>iilar . 25 

Moles or r>irthmarks, and their SitiiiilKaiioa to 

Man and Womr.n 29 



iS 
34 

12 

•3 

9 

34 

32 



10 

29 

ai 



INDEX OF SUBJECTS (^'^^^^z:;^-^) 



More I'eople Wc Meet 

Mountain Lake and Other I'ocms, The 

Norris's Nursing Notes ... 

Nurst, The . 

Nursing Old Age 

r^unitig Rtiord i\hul \\ uiUi, lUt. 

rapeanl of Life, The : . i . Fotiii 

Falniiil aitii Cliirotogical HiiiiW, The 

People We Meet 

Phantasms. Original Stories illustrating Pob 

r I' 'fly 

Pitt i^bury Uoarding-Housc 

For r, Songs of Life and Love 

POi. 13 

Practical Nursing Series, The 

I'rccious Stones and Gents . 

Pyjama Purists, and Virtue made I^sy 

Kc. • • . -ITie 

Kci .p:ciiarian Citi<.en, 'llie 

Kc ..jhi. The 

Rc'i , A, and other Short Storic.i 

HenaU, 1 he. A Review of Modern and Progi'. , 

»ive Ihought .... 
Stukcbp<:are't< Songs and Sonnets 
Spoi ■■ ■ ■ ..lid Pscudon^ui:^ 

Sli. Yard 

" 1 . 

True Detective Stories i 

Wellerisnis i 

Whom to Marry. A Look all about Luvc and M*i 

riagt 

Woman Retrained : A Study ol P»?si©n 

\V> :ine . . 

Yoi: ' 11 of ro-D«v •■ 

Young Ladies of To-Day 

"Zenith" Memo-Pad, Ih' . . 



.^G£ 

33 
:l 

33 
=5 

-5 
33 

SI 

29 

»3 



30 
'3 
31 

34 
as 

^ J 

1 

..» 


9 



r^ 



LIST OK AUTHORS. ARTISTS, ETC. 



I' AGE 

Ackroyd, Laura (> .21 

Allen, Pliabc 12 

Karlow, George 1, 21, as 

Hitihop, SlatiinoiL, l.K.L..'? i;^ 

liodciiblcdt, Hill voii .'I 

Callow, Kdward 

Crauiiier-B\ iiR, H . i-; 

Ciaiiiuer-Byiig, I , ji 

"Crow'" . ;< 

Lriiikshank, Geuiiii-i J 111,1 17 

hvaiis, C. Uc l.acy .■> 

Inch, Lucy . ,,; 

Fletcher-Van'i, 1 11 

hrappeur, L.L . 2<) 

Gen a re, Wirt '^, lu, 11, 30 

Good, Margaret L. . . 35 

1 fake, A. ligmonl . 11 

Harries, Arthur, ^L1 ' 

Harris, Mary ■4 

Hawkins, Lionel M. - :;4 

Howard, The Lady Couaiau',!. 

Hutton, Edward ... 

Kent, Charles 



LIST OF AUTHORS, ARTISTS. ETC 
{lOHtinuiJ). 



I-AGE 

LilMUIC, ivilLiS J.. J. IV. ■ "^» 

Lawrence, H. Newman ^5 

Lo -ir Frank, Q.C..M.r. 18 

Lo . , M.D. . . -•5 

Naylor, Robert Anderioi: 9 

Noil is, Radicl 

"Pajjanus" ... ■ 

Panama, Viscountess dc < 

Parkes, Hairy 
Preston, Julia 

R.. : 

R 

R. O. ........ 11 

R;t , . - I'. II. 12. I-,. 17, 10, 31, 2;, ao. i\ ,,,^4 

St. Hill, Kalhannc 
Salisbury, Lord, K.(> 
Sykes, Edith . . 

Taylor, I^n|;di>i. -9 

Truman, Mary -s 

Vauchan, C'uidinal 

Wek»lau, O. E. 

Wheeler, M.-iiid ^9 

Winter, C. Gordon ii 

Zanjfwill, Mark 






SCIENTIFIC, 

GENERAL 

TRAVEL, 

REMINISCENCE 

FICTION. 






ACROSS THE ATLANTIC, Ry R. Anderton 
Naylor, KR.S.Lit., Author of " Nugne Canorao," 
etc. Presentation Kditioo. 

" Briclit, interestinfi:, beautifully produccJ. "— T/t InstituU. 

WOMAN REGAINED. A Study of Passion. A 

Novel of Artistic hiie. By Georgi: Barlow. Six 

Shillings. [Shortly. 

" Tlierc ii mucli splendid versification in THE CRUCIFIXION OF 

MAN."— iV.i_-.'.! //' ■.(.■..■■. 

" Til' oet , . . his force it 
Is Impn^ 

".MI' ....... . . , . llarlow is to be con 

gratulai' ,r. 

" TIh ly we have read for many a day 
In the rir : i r.K .1 .tl loiii | . euv. Let every student of life read 

tills work of Keniiis." — S^s,^s Miii,iziui, 

THE REMINISCENCES OF A SEPTUAGEN- 
ARIAN CITIZEN. By Fdward Callow. Larfje 
paper edition, liinited to 350 copies, specially bound, 
numbered, and signed by Author, Illustrated, cis. 

■rce,' an interestinj rcIle.-t!o!\ of Is, 

t -. to 

sr' r. 

'1' •■ 

•'l!i-.. -nr 

cf love . -d 

Mr. Sil- . • , , , .. 

—i',.ji-r. 



•)• 



EVOLUTION, A RETROSPECT. The (slightly 
revised) Address delivered before theRoy.^l British 
Association at Oxford 1804. By the M,\rouis of 
Salisbury, K.G,, etc. Cloth, Eighteenpcnce net ; 
Post Free 31/. extra. 

THE RE-UNION OF CHRISTENDOM. The 
(revised, with an Introduction and Appendix) 
Address delivered before the Conference under the 
auspices of the Catholic Truth Society at Preston 
1894, by His Eminence C.\rdinal Vauciian, Arch- 
bishop of Westminster. Cloth, Eighteenpence net ; 
Post Free 3^/. extra. 

A BIBLIOGRAPHY OF GUNS AND SHOOT- 
ING. Being a List of Ancient and Modern English 
and Foreign Books Relating to Firearms and their 
Use. and to the Composition and Manufacture ol 
Explosives; with an Introductory Chapter on 
Technical Books and the Writers of them, Fireanns 
Inventions and the History of Gunmaking, and the 
Development of the Art of Wing Shooting. By 
Wirt Gerrare, fonnerly Editor of The Ciiit- 
inakcr,The Sporting Goods Rei'ifui, etc., etc. io,s. M. 
net ; Post Free. Buckram. A Limited Edition. 



SPORTING PERIODICALS - PSEUDONYMS. 
Beinpf a Ciiiidc to the Britii^li, Colonial, and Forciij" 

Ne"-" ••'- I.'... .. ■ ^- : ! • '"I al I'liiodicals, 

w!; : with an Index 

to .•;, :.;it!n'-.s, and A 

List or • t. By 

Wirt l. . i>hy oJ 

Guns and . ' lornicily Lditoi ol" The 

Spnrlin^ (• >:i\ etr., etc. This Guide 

wii . rature 

of ( 'ly " >s 

to ■ ot 

evi nl 

Sc: Lj . ..L.i..~,i. I s' 

All will comprise 

m;. :' ( c itrihMt.ivs, 

the y 

ot' I to 

\\i '.i 

of: . :,'. 

L'n.joM.i V, ui Cur.s and 

Sliooting." . Post Free. 

Jn Prff>aroliott. 

A GL(> ■ ■ AND POLYGLOT t "IARY 

(ji ;c.\i. w<v;i'^ At-.!' i'-c:d 

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of d 

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Co: .MUIl'T of 

" A , " Cormrrly 

Kd • ■ I h^ 

Cc: ii- 

nic. <;, 

ari' in 

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cases 111 b\s .1 ative 

Tablf"? of :? and 

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for 'id 

At -3 

an. ; 

Dt d 

otli r. 

i"ai^- . . ,un- 
cerninp K.t; book 
therefore is . Tech- 
niques, to all who write of Guns and .Shooting, 
and to all who are interested in the Firearms 
Trade, whether as Manufacturers or Dealers. 

ffij Prfparntinn. 







THE MAGISTRACY. Rcing a Director}- and Bio- 
•jraijliical Dictionary of the Justices of the Peace 
of the United Kirgdom. Kdited by Charles F. 
RiDEAL. ais. [//; Fnpnratioii. 



THE SENATE. A 
jrrcssive Thought. 



and C. Gordon Winter. 
of each Month, Sixpence, 
annum, post free. 

"Truly the tlia- ' 
conductur<; of tlii . 
lent . . . poetry . . 
Kiganiis."— r/ii.' -■; 

". . . I; I, r.s V 
I 'a nil V 



Review of Modern and Pro- 
Edited by L. C'ranmer-Bvnc. 



Published on the tirst 
Subscription, 7s. 6rf. per 



to <:ucli rcrormers as the 
.111. Tlie prose is excel- 
Love beyond Law,' by 

.W. 

J of its kind need be."— 



(httttr 1/ 



!io ori^n 01 two bright yoiinR man."— Mar. 



THE IDEA OF A PATRIOT PARTY. By A. 

I'c.io.NT lI.vKE.nith Contributions by L. Cranmer- 
BvNG, O. E. Wksslau and V. Fletcher-Vane. 
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INDIA IN NINE CHAPTERS. By A. M. O. 
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'TOLD AT THE CLUB." Some Short Stories.' 
Being No. i oflhe" Potboiler "Series. 1"' ■■ --iks 
V. RtDEAi.. Manilla, Eightcenpence, ■ •■If- 

a-crown ; Post Free %d. extra. {In /,., ^;» 



MANDRAKES. Original Stories of Some Unre- 
f;ardr(l !tcir,?. By VVlRT Gerr.\RE, Author ol 
"! -," "Rufir.'s J-egacy," etc., etc. A Time 

1.1 lion. Crown Svo, cloth, 3s. 6rf. 

'/;/ Preparation. 



WOMEN OF THE TIME : P.eing a Dictionary of 
Biojjr.-*;'''' ■' '^' ■■ lis of Etninent Women of the 
•e, and edited by Charles F. 
' }\ov.il Soiiety of Literature). 
Fourteen Shillings. 
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Day; 1 

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Oemy 8vo, ciotb. 







DiCKENSIANA 



' WELLERISMS." from " Pickwick" and " Muster 
lluniphrcjs Clock." Selected by Chakles !•', 
RiuEAL, aiiU liditcd with an Iiitroduclioa by 
Chakles Kent, AuUior of "The Humour luid 
Pathosof Charles Dickens." Third Edition. With 
a new and original drawinj,' by Geokoe Crlik- 
SiiA>-K, JuNU., of Mr. Samuel Weller. Manilla, 
liighteenpencc ; Clolh, Half-a-cro\vn ; Post Tree 
3t/. extra. 



Lonleiils : ■— Sam Weller's Introduction ; Old 
Weller at Doctor's Commons; Sam on a Lesal 
Case ; SeH'-acting Ink ; Out with it ; Sam's Old 
White Hat; Independent Voters: Proud o' the 
Title; The VVeller Philosophy; The Twopenny 
Kope ; job Trotter's Tears ; Sam's Misgivings as 
to Mr. Pickwick ; Clear the Way for the \Vlicel- 
barrow ; Unpacking the Lunch Hamper ; Battledore 
and Shuttlecock; a True Londoner; Spoiling the 
Beadle ; Old Wcllcr's Remedy for the Gout ; Sam 
on Cabs; Poverty and Oysters; Old Weller on 
"Pikes"; Sam's Power of Suction; Vcllcr and 
Gammon ; Sam as Master of the Ceremonies ; 
.Sam before Mr. Nupkins ; Sam's Introduction to 
Mary and the Cook ; Somethin;; behind the Door ; 
.bam and Master BardcU ; Good Wi.-:hcs to Messri. 
Dodson and I'ogg ; Sam and His Mothcr-iu-Law ; 
Ihc Shepherd's Water Kates; Stiggins as air 
.Vrithmctician ; Sam and the I at Boy ; Compai I 
and Comforlable ; Apologue of the lat Man's 
Watch ; Medical Students ; Sam Subpccnaed ; Dta- 
appearance of the " Sausage " Maker ; Sam 
Wcller'b Valentine; Old Wellers Plot; Tea 
Drinking at Brick Lane ; The Soldiers Kvidcnec 
Inadmissible; Sam's " Wision " Limited; A 
Friendly "Swarry"; The Killebeale ; Sam and 
the Surlv Groom ; Mr. Pickwick's Dark Lantern ; 
The Little Dirty-faced Man; Old WtUcr Inex- 
orable ; Away with Melancholy ; Post Boys and 
Donkeys; A Vessel: Old Weller's Threat; .Sam's 
Dismissal of the lat Boy; Is She aWidder? Bill 
Blinders Request ; The Watchbor. Boy. 



... Tlie btai .^> i.ijiu. 
jrc collected here. ' The ; 
witli the certainty of iftui . 
A^iy ia the pocket."— Lifei-ajj, Hjr:.:. 

" It wcu, a very jood idea ... the e\triiCli are \ cry numerous, 
here nothing is missed."— O'.'avi'a' //eraM, 

17 



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(With an Original SkeUh of "Mr. Serjeant 
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r Kiuii an J alVairs fifty 

'• Th jf perni.inciit iiiclu-.ion in Dickeiisian 

r.r, ■ II,.. ...i,.. ..r .,n, .l.ilUlUr. I I U' MttlC 

1 cd 

portraiture of ihU kinU.^'— t'////i/v. 



CHARLES DICKENS' HEROINES AND 
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with Drawings ol " Dot " an4 "Edith Donibey." 
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A delichtful lilllc bouk."— /"J/'V'/Zr. 



"nV" 






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AND 

SONG. 



• 



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AND LOVE. i;y " I'AC.VNrri." Sis .Shillint;> 

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91 



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him in t Tennj'son, Swinburne, and Matthew 

AmoM "'. 

" ' Hr -n imrf>rtnnt book. As a sinpcr Mr. 

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